Conflicting information: summary

Last updated: Thursday, September 24, 2015

It is surprising that sometimes you'll find that different sources of information seem to provide different answers. Here is a summary of one way to tackle this situation:
  • Know the limitations of resources. How up-to-date are they all? Do they contain opinions, or evidence from published research?

  • New evidence. Has one or more apparently trustworthy source been superseded by new data? 

  • References. Are your sources quoting different references to support their data? What's the quality of these references? 

  • Consensus. Is one source at odds with all the others? Your answer may need to represent a majority view.

You should make the doctor and the patient aware of any differences in information or opinion that you uncover. Allow them to work with you in an informed way when you are advising them so that you can reach a decision together.