Recognising and addressing health misinformation in nursing practice
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Recognising and addressing health misinformation in nursing practice

Josh Sharman Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand why there has been a significant increase in the development and sharing of false information, particularly via social media

  • To recognise factors that can affect people’s susceptibility to disinformation and misinformation

  • To consider strategies that you could use in your practice to address incorrect health information

Misleading and inaccurate health information increasingly being shared within the public domain, particularly via social media platforms. This can result in negative real-world consequences, particularly in the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Nurses and other healthcare professionals need to be aware of those people who are susceptible to believing false information and be prepared to have open conversations with patients about what they may have read or heard about health-related matters. Correcting disinformation and misinformation can be complex as it is often based on part truths and if handled inappropriately can risk causing the belief to become further embedded. This article provides nurses with information and resources to address incorrect information in clinical practice, as well as highlighting strategies for debunking online myths.

Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2023.e1791

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Sharman J (2023) Recognising and addressing health misinformation in nursing practice. Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2023.e1791

Published online: 22 February 2023

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