Health Mis- & Disinformation from a Research, Clinical and Community Perspective: A forum


A major impediment to dissemination and implementation of evidence-based medicine is mis- and disinformation, which are currently rampant. Mis- and disinformation influences health behaviors and results in adverse outcomes including delayed treatment, inappropriate self-treatment, low enrollment in clinical research, and health disparities. Raising awareness and increasing skills in addressing health mis- and disinformation among clinicians, researchers, health policy makers and community health workers is critical. Health communication toolkits (Mackert et al. 2020) and health literacy education programs (Green et al., 2013) exist, but widespread awareness and ability to use those tools is lacking. In June 2021, in conjunction with the CTSA hub at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s (UTHSCSA) and representatives from our respective communities, we planned and held a 1½-hour panel entitled “Health Mis- and Disinformation from a Research, Clinical, and Community Perspective: A Forum.” The panel was attended by nearly 100 people. Building on the success of the panel and with an eye towards the translational science aspects of health mis- and dis-information, we plan to collaborate with the UTHSCSA hub and stage an annual webinar to engage stakeholders in conversation and increase confidence in addressing mis- and disinformation.

Mackert M, Table B Yang J et al. Applying best Practices from Health Communication to Support a University’s Response to COVID-19. Health Commun. 2020;35(14):1750-1753.
Green, JA, Mor MK, Shields AM et al. Associations of health Literacy With Dialysis Adherence and Health Resource Utilization in Patients Receiving Maintenance Hemodialysis. Am J Kidney Dis. 2013;62(1)73-80.

Tsevat, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine; Director, KL2 Program; and Director, ReACH Center - UT Health San Antonio and Professor of Population Health, Dell Medical School, UT Austin