Tips for Finding Health Information on the Web
Proceed with caution when looking for health information on the Web. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between good and misleading information. As you are reading a web site, ask yourself the questions listed below. It is up to you to review carefully the information you find on the Web.
Who are the authors or sponsors?
Can you locate the name of the organization or person who wrote the information? Is there a street address or telephone number? If the source is not clear, the information may not be the best. Are authors’ educational backgrounds, qualifications, or credentials listed? Are conflicts of interest or commercial sponsorship clearly identified?
Is the Web site current?
When was the information posted? When was it updated?
Who is the audience?
Is it written for doctors or nurses? Is it written for the public?
Does the site offer factual information or does it represent opinions?
If opinions, whose opinions are they? Are they qualified professionals? Does the information agree with that from other sources (including your doctor or nurse)? Are there references to medical literature?
What is the purpose?
Is the purpose of the information to educate or is it to sell a product? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it is to sell a product, the information could be presenting just one viewpoint.
Find more information about how to evaluate health-related Web sites by visiting the Medical Library Association.
Good places to start your search
MedlinePlus brings together by health topic good information from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and other government, nonprofit and health organizations.
Healthfinder can help you find health information from publications, clearinghouses, and Web sites. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services produces the site.
Christiana Care Health System provides the information on this Web site as a service to the community. The site is offered for information purposes only. Visiting this Web site does not establish a therapeutic relationship, and the Web site is not and should not be a substitute for a personal consultation with a health care provider. Christiana Care Health System does not review, edit or endorse all items accessible from these pages and disclaims on behalf of itself, its affiliates, employees and agents, any responsibility for their content, accuracy and completeness of information, text, graphics, links and any results obtained from the use of such items contained within these materials or on any other server. Furthermore, discrepancies may sometimes exist between printed and electronic information. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information directly from Christiana Care Health System or other reliable sources. Christiana Care Health System may make changes to these materials, or the products and services described within these materials at any time without notice.
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