Connecting with reliable and
free open access health
information on the Internet
Pamela Harrison
Liaison Librarian
McGill ...
By the end of this session, you will
be able to:
Find reliable, free online consumer
health information to answer your
he...
What is consumer health information…
… and why use it?
Disclaimer:
Online health information is not a
substitute for consulting with a
healthcare professional.
Sources of Reliable Consumer
Health Information: Where to
begin?
What is your starting when searching
for point for online health information?
What is your starting when searching
for point for online health information?
Source: Fox, S. & Duggan, M. (2013). “Health...
Today’s starting point:
McGill Library’s Consumer Health
Guide
http://www.mcgill.ca/library/find/su
bjects/health/consumer...
Spotlight 1
http://medlineplus.gov/
Image source: http://medlineplus.gov
Practice Search 1: Medline Plus
You think your headaches might
be migraines, and have made an
appointment with your doctor...
Practice Search 2: Medline Plus
Your doctor has diagnosed you
with migraines, and has suggested
that you start taking Vita...
MedlinePlus
Medical Encyclopedia
…for basic searches
MedlinePlus Topics
… for more detailed
information
Over 4,000 entries...
Spotlight 2
http://summaries.cochrane.org/
Image source: http://summaries.cochrane.org/
Image source: http://summaries.cochrane.org/about-site
Practice Search: Cochrane
Summaries
Your friend is thinking of joining a
support group for people that want
to stop smokin...
Cochrane Summaries
… for high-quality evidence
✔ Summary of systematic review
✔ Date of publication
✔ Links to related sum...
Spotlight 3
http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/
Practice Search 1: Healthy
Canadians
You heard on the news that there
has been a recall of dried eggs.
You want to check i...
Practice Search 2: Healthy
Canadians
You are taking your niece out to go
snowshoeing this evening, but are
worried about h...
Healthy Canadians
… for Canadian content
✔ Canada-specific information:
✔ Product alerts and recalls
✔ Environmental infor...
Other important sites
Santé Montréal Portal: For local
health and social services
information
Medbroadcast: For drug
inf...
Evaluating health websites:
5Ws
Case study: Canadian
Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.ca
• Who is the author?
• Individual
• Organization
• Contact information
• Who is the author citing?
LOOK FOR:
•Individual n...
• What type of organization is
this?
• Government
• University
• Hospital
• Non-profit organization
LOOK FOR DOMAINS:
• .g...
• When is the information
from?
(This is not necessarily the © date.)
LOOK FOR:
•Dates
•“Updated on”
•Dates on cited refer...
• Where does the
author/organization get its
funding?
… and how does this affect
content?
LOOK FOR:
•Sponsors
•Partners
•E...
• Why was the information
written?
LOOK FOR:
•Mission Statement
•Editorial Policy
•About Us
•(Medical) Disclaimer
Use your judgment.
If it seems unreal, it probably is.
http://malepregnancy.com/
Additional help
HONcode (Health on the Net Code)
For more information, visit
www.hon.ch/
Image source: http://www.prweb.co...
Health information at McGill: The
Wendy Patrick Collection
At the Schulich Library
Almost 1300 items: print
collection
...
Questions?
Pamela Harrison
Consumer Health Liaison Librarian
pamela.harrison@mcgill.ca
514-398-6272
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Connecting with reliable and free open access health information on the Internet

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Presentation given as part of "The Library is Open" initiative at McGill University (February 2014). Includes:
- links to trusted health resources
- guideline for evaluating online health resources
For more information on online health resources, visit McGill Library's Consumer Health subject guide at http://www.mcgill.ca/library/find/subjects/health/consumerhealth.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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  • - In this presentation, focus on English resources
  • Information for people without medical background
    Easy-to use language
    Varying levels of detail
    Uses: curiosity / information about condition for self/friend
    What it is NOT for: self-diagnosis, or any kind of medical decision-making
  • 77% : search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo
    13% site specializing in health info (WebMD)
    2% : more general site like Wikipedia
    1% : Social Media (Facebook)
  • Website of the National Institutes of Health for the general public– free to use, paid for by US taxpayers, updated daily
    Unfortunately, not in French: English and Spanish
    First: look at Site map
    Then at Encyclopedia > Common Cold (2 entries)
    There may be more than 1 entry per topic (e.g. Migraine)
    Currency information
    Source information
    Like Wikipedia: hyperlinked to other entries
    MedlinePlus Topics:
    Updated daily, reviewed regularly
    Consistent organization: top blurb, and 6 headers
    For more detailed information
  • Search: Encyclopedia article: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000709.htm
  • Search: MedlinePlus topic: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/migraine.html#cat4
    > Nutrition (page from Achenet – American Headaches Society)
  • Cochrane Collaboration: international, independent, NFP group
    - Cochrane Reviews study clinical trial
  • Cochrane Collaboration: international, independent, NFP group
    - Cochrane Reviews study clinical trials
  • Health Canada, provides health and safety information to Canadians
    Bilingual
  • http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/index-eng.php
    Search “dried eggs”
    http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/inspection/2014/38043r-eng.php
    Recall vs advisory
  • http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/environment-environnement/outdoor-air-exterieur/quality-air-qualite-eng.php
    “Check the air quality in your region.” http://www.ec.gc.ca/cas-aqhi/default.asp?lang=En&n=450C1129-1
    Quebec: http://www.ec.gc.ca/cas-aqhi/default.asp?lang=En&n=A2A49D65-1
  • Sante Montreal portal: information on available services (including hospitals, clinics and health organizations like rehabilitation centres); also has basic health information
  • www.cancer.ca > Non-melanoma skin cancer
    http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/skin-non-melanoma/
    Non-melanoma skin cancer
    Look for: name/credentials, org name, contact information, ref list
    No individual name/credential
    Organization:
    Mission statement (scroll down): http://www.cancer.ca/en/about-us/our-mission/
    Partnerships (here, “Alliances,” under partnerships”) : http://www.cancer.ca/en/about-us/our-partnerships/alliances/?region=q
    Contact information: scroll down
    Who is the author citing? > Early detection http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/skin-non-melanoma/early-detection/
    Scroll down > references
  • Tip: look at reference list.
    Note: date may change in importance. E.g. hospice care and support may not be as rapidly changing as cancer information.
  • Partners
  • Non-governmental organization that promotes high-quality health information on the Web
    Willingness to provide high-quality health information
    Websites can apply for it voluntarily, are reviewed every 2 years
    Ethical standard (code-of-conduct) for health information online
  • Connecting with reliable and free open access health information on the Internet

    1. 1. Connecting with reliable and free open access health information on the Internet Pamela Harrison Liaison Librarian McGill Library February 19, 2014
    2. 2. By the end of this session, you will be able to: Find reliable, free online consumer health information to answer your health and wellness questions Evaluate information that you find on the web Access a collection of books at McGill written for consumers on health and wellness topics
    3. 3. What is consumer health information… … and why use it?
    4. 4. Disclaimer: Online health information is not a substitute for consulting with a healthcare professional.
    5. 5. Sources of Reliable Consumer Health Information: Where to begin?
    6. 6. What is your starting when searching for point for online health information?
    7. 7. What is your starting when searching for point for online health information? Source: Fox, S. & Duggan, M. (2013). “Health Online 2013.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old- media//Files/Reports/PIP_HealthOnline.pdf
    8. 8. Today’s starting point: McGill Library’s Consumer Health Guide http://www.mcgill.ca/library/find/su bjects/health/consumerhealth
    9. 9. Spotlight 1 http://medlineplus.gov/ Image source: http://medlineplus.gov
    10. 10. Practice Search 1: Medline Plus You think your headaches might be migraines, and have made an appointment with your doctor. You would like some basic information on migraines before your appointment.
    11. 11. Practice Search 2: Medline Plus Your doctor has diagnosed you with migraines, and has suggested that you start taking Vitamin D supplements. You would like to know more about the connection between Vitamin D and migraine.
    12. 12. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia …for basic searches MedlinePlus Topics … for more detailed information Over 4,000 entries Over 900 topics ✔Photographs and illustrations Links to reliable sources on topic Links to Medical Encyclopedia entries and Medline Plus topics ✔ Links to Medical Encyclopedia entries and Medline Plus topics ✔ Update date ✔ Consistent subheadings ✔ Source information
    13. 13. Spotlight 2 http://summaries.cochrane.org/ Image source: http://summaries.cochrane.org/
    14. 14. Image source: http://summaries.cochrane.org/about-site
    15. 15. Practice Search: Cochrane Summaries Your friend is thinking of joining a support group for people that want to stop smoking. You want to know whether support groups are proven to help people stop smoking.
    16. 16. Cochrane Summaries … for high-quality evidence ✔ Summary of systematic review ✔ Date of publication ✔ Links to related summaries: See ✔ “Health topics” ✔ “More like this”
    17. 17. Spotlight 3 http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/
    18. 18. Practice Search 1: Healthy Canadians You heard on the news that there has been a recall of dried eggs. You want to check if the dried eggs you have just bought are affected.
    19. 19. Practice Search 2: Healthy Canadians You are taking your niece out to go snowshoeing this evening, but are worried about her asthma. Check the air quality in Montreal before deciding whether to go.
    20. 20. Healthy Canadians … for Canadian content ✔ Canada-specific information: ✔ Product alerts and recalls ✔ Environmental information (AQHI) ✔ Health information: ✔ Healthy eating ✔ Parenting ✔ Safety: at home, outdoors, at work ✔ Date of publication ✔ “For more information”: Links to related Government of Canada resources
    21. 21. Other important sites Santé Montréal Portal: For local health and social services information Medbroadcast: For drug information
    22. 22. Evaluating health websites: 5Ws Case study: Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
    23. 23. • Who is the author? • Individual • Organization • Contact information • Who is the author citing? LOOK FOR: •Individual name / credentials •Organizational name •Contact information •Reference list
    24. 24. • What type of organization is this? • Government • University • Hospital • Non-profit organization LOOK FOR DOMAINS: • .gov, .gc.ca, .qc.ca • .edu • .org • ca: proceed with caution mcgill.ca and sickkids.ca vs. health.ca
    25. 25. • When is the information from? (This is not necessarily the © date.) LOOK FOR: •Dates •“Updated on” •Dates on cited references
    26. 26. • Where does the author/organization get its funding? … and how does this affect content? LOOK FOR: •Sponsors •Partners •Editorial policy •Editorial independence •Quality guidelines
    27. 27. • Why was the information written? LOOK FOR: •Mission Statement •Editorial Policy •About Us •(Medical) Disclaimer
    28. 28. Use your judgment. If it seems unreal, it probably is. http://malepregnancy.com/
    29. 29. Additional help HONcode (Health on the Net Code) For more information, visit www.hon.ch/ Image source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb11070793.htm
    30. 30. Health information at McGill: The Wendy Patrick Collection At the Schulich Library Almost 1300 items: print collection Closer to another branch? Request a book via our catalog
    31. 31. Questions? Pamela Harrison Consumer Health Liaison Librarian pamela.harrison@mcgill.ca 514-398-6272
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