Wikipedia Dicey As Medical Info Source




This is Scientific American 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron. Got a minute?
Feeling a bit sick?
Maybe you checked symptoms on Wikipedia before seeing a doctor.
And maybe your doctor checked Wikipedia before seeing you.
Up to 70 percent of physicians and medical students admit to using Wikipedia as a reference, too.
But Wikipedia can be shockingly wrong.
Researchers who compared peer-reviewed articles to the Wikipedia pages for the 10 most costly medical conditions in the U.S.
including heart disease, back pain and osteoarthritis, discovered incorrect information on 9 out of 10 pages.
Only information on concussions appeared to be accurate.
The study is in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
Earlier research suggested that Wikipedia is roughly comparable to peer-reviewed sources.
A study in the journal Nature in 2005 found Wikipedia was about as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica, even about science topics.
But that analysis looked only at 42 entries among the millions on Wikipedia.
Since then the site has exploded, now including tens of millions of entries.
The new results suggest we should all take online info with a grain of salt.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron.