FINDING HEALTH INFORMATION
ON THE NET
Vasumathi Sriganesh
QMed Knowledge Foundation
info@qmedkf.org.in
DO SHARE WITH US…
• How many of you do use the Internet to seek health
information?
• What is your approach when you searc...
TODAY’S TALK – FOUR PARTS
• Background / scope / importance of searching
correctly
• Types of information resources
• Exam...
PART I - BACKGROUND
• Context
• Right kinds of resources – the importance
• Searching – what is right and wrong
WHEN DO WE NEED HEALTH
INFORMATION?
• “Health” related queries – “Are bananas good for our
health”?
• “Condition” related ...
WE NEED TO
• Understand diseases / conditions
• Find professionals / institutions
• Make the right decision
BEFORE WE SEARCH

We need to know…
ABOUT RESOURCES
Authenticity
• Who is responsible for the resource / website?
Recency
• Is it updated regularly / is the i...
RESPONSIBILITY

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/webeval/webeval_start.html
EVALUATING…
“About Us”
• PABH: Doctors & Cardiologists; mission – to educate
public; contact details provided
• IHH: “Sele...
SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION
OUR QUESTION
• Bananas for our health…. Good / Bad?
– Do they make us put on weight?
– Or do they *really* help us burn fa...
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT…..
SO…
• What do we believe?
• How many pages of search results do we go through?
USING INTERNET RESOURCES

It IS possible to use
“the right methods” to search!
STEP BY STEP APPROACH
Learn:
• “About” resources
• How to search correctly and/or consult
librarians / specialists
• How t...
PART II - TYPES OF
RESOURCES
ABOUT RESOURCES

Categorize them… and
understand where to go
THREE CATEGORIES
Medical Information Resources – three main categories
• Background information / Factual information
• Re...
WEBSITES
Can be
• Single type
• Combination types

Learn to identify what type of information
each website provides!
PART III - EXAMPLES:
VERY IMPORTANT RESOURCES
WEBSITES FOR
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
MEDLINEPLUS.GOV
Authentic?
Purpose?

Ease of
organization?
Information about
updates?
WEBSITES FOR
RESULTS OF RESEARCH
Cochrane Summaries
PubMed Health
summaries.cochrane.org
summaries.cochrane.org
COCHRANE COLLABORATION
• Experts from different medical fields
– Eg: “Pregnancy and childbirth group”

ALSO:

• Cochrane C...
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/
PART IV: SEARCHING:
FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES
SEARCHING CORRECTLY

Research Articles

www.pubmed.gov
(Database of 20 million journal articles)
SEARCHING CORRECTLY
• Word search – presence of the word
• Field search – Where do you want your word to be?
• Combination...
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
• Searching is a structured art and science
• Know where to go
– Authentic resources – updated regularly...
QMED KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
• Conducts programs on correct searching for health
professionals
• Developing plans to help con...
REAL LIFE STORIES
• HELP – Doctor – son – rare condition
…my son had a rare disease- agenesis of corpus
callosum. Your inf...
REAL LIFE STORIES
• Family friend – rare disease
….The entire credit of my miraculous recovery from a
seemingly incurable ...
www.qmed.org.in
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
• Fact sheet – now
• Searching for specific needs
– “I am 37 and wish to have a baby now. How safe is ...
QMED IS
• A not for profit Trust
• No government or agency funding
• We crowdsource funds and ask for donations for any
pr...
QMED KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

Helping patients & their caregivers to seek
reliable information and participate
responsibly in...
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
Finding health information on the internet   a planned approach - dec 2013 - help
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Finding health information on the internet a planned approach - dec 2013 - help

  1. 1. FINDING HEALTH INFORMATION ON THE NET Vasumathi Sriganesh QMed Knowledge Foundation info@qmedkf.org.in
  2. 2. DO SHARE WITH US… • How many of you do use the Internet to seek health information? • What is your approach when you search?
  3. 3. TODAY’S TALK – FOUR PARTS • Background / scope / importance of searching correctly • Types of information resources • Examples of very important resources • Foundational principles of searching
  4. 4. PART I - BACKGROUND • Context • Right kinds of resources – the importance • Searching – what is right and wrong
  5. 5. WHEN DO WE NEED HEALTH INFORMATION? • “Health” related queries – “Are bananas good for our health”? • “Condition” related queries – Pregnancy, Bringing up kids, Posture, Obesity… • “Disease” related queries – Back pain, Diabetes, Cancer…
  6. 6. WE NEED TO • Understand diseases / conditions • Find professionals / institutions • Make the right decision
  7. 7. BEFORE WE SEARCH We need to know…
  8. 8. ABOUT RESOURCES Authenticity • Who is responsible for the resource / website? Recency • Is it updated regularly / is the information current? Purpose • Purpose of the resource / site - is there scope for bias? Organization • Organization of the resource / site – is it easy to find what you need
  9. 9. RESPONSIBILITY Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/webeval/webeval_start.html
  10. 10. EVALUATING… “About Us” • PABH: Doctors & Cardiologists; mission – to educate public; contact details provided • IHH: “Select” group of individuals and businesses concerned with heart health. – Site supported by a company that produces vitamins and other medications – Link for buying medicines – Contact details – only “webmaster”
  11. 11. SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION
  12. 12. OUR QUESTION • Bananas for our health…. Good / Bad? – Do they make us put on weight? – Or do they *really* help us burn fat?
  13. 13. RESEARCH SHOWS THAT…..
  14. 14. SO… • What do we believe? • How many pages of search results do we go through?
  15. 15. USING INTERNET RESOURCES It IS possible to use “the right methods” to search!
  16. 16. STEP BY STEP APPROACH Learn: • “About” resources • How to search correctly and/or consult librarians / specialists • How to understand research results and consult health professionals • To….Accept limitations of research results and methods and make correct personal decisions
  17. 17. PART II - TYPES OF RESOURCES
  18. 18. ABOUT RESOURCES Categorize them… and understand where to go
  19. 19. THREE CATEGORIES Medical Information Resources – three main categories • Background information / Factual information • Results of all “reported research” – What works – What does not work – We don’t know yet • Reported research – In labs – On people • (Large studies)
  20. 20. WEBSITES Can be • Single type • Combination types Learn to identify what type of information each website provides!
  21. 21. PART III - EXAMPLES: VERY IMPORTANT RESOURCES
  22. 22. WEBSITES FOR BACKGROUND INFORMATION
  23. 23. MEDLINEPLUS.GOV
  24. 24. Authentic? Purpose? Ease of organization?
  25. 25. Information about updates?
  26. 26. WEBSITES FOR RESULTS OF RESEARCH
  27. 27. Cochrane Summaries PubMed Health
  28. 28. summaries.cochrane.org
  29. 29. summaries.cochrane.org
  30. 30. COCHRANE COLLABORATION • Experts from different medical fields – Eg: “Pregnancy and childbirth group” ALSO: • Cochrane Consumer Network http://consumers.cochrane.org/
  31. 31. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/
  32. 32. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/
  33. 33. PART IV: SEARCHING: FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES
  34. 34. SEARCHING CORRECTLY Research Articles www.pubmed.gov (Database of 20 million journal articles)
  35. 35. SEARCHING CORRECTLY • Word search – presence of the word • Field search – Where do you want your word to be? • Combinations: AND, OR, NOT
  36. 36. TAKE HOME MESSAGE • Searching is a structured art and science • Know where to go – Authentic resources – updated regularly • Search correctly • Evidence may/may not exist • Take your decision with your doctor, based on “best available evidence”
  37. 37. QMED KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION • Conducts programs on correct searching for health professionals • Developing plans to help consumers, with the help of doctors • People involved – Librarians specialized in medical information management – Trustees – two doctors
  38. 38. REAL LIFE STORIES • HELP – Doctor – son – rare condition …my son had a rare disease- agenesis of corpus callosum. Your information helped me a lot. Taking the cue, I went to Boston to meet someone who ran a NGO on this disease. I still receive a newsletter from that group. Now my son works in _____All thanks to you.
  39. 39. REAL LIFE STORIES • Family friend – rare disease ….The entire credit of my miraculous recovery from a seemingly incurable disorder, goes to my visit to your place, when I came to know about pubmed!! I am trying my bit, to spread awareness about the cure …..
  40. 40. www.qmed.org.in
  41. 41. HOW WE CAN HELP YOU • Fact sheet – now • Searching for specific needs – “I am 37 and wish to have a baby now. How safe is it” – “My doctor has given a choice of two chemotherapy drugs for my mother. How do I choose” – Consulting sessions to help you • Search and discuss with your doctor – but NOT • Medical advice – which your doctor will give you
  42. 42. QMED IS • A not for profit Trust • No government or agency funding • We crowdsource funds and ask for donations for any professional help we provide
  43. 43. QMED KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION Helping patients & their caregivers to seek reliable information and participate responsibly in health care decisions

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