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: …

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.

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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

Transcript

  • 1. Connecting with reliable and free open access health information on the Internet Pamela Harrison Liaison Librarian McGill Library February 19, 2014
  • 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. What is consumer health information… … and why use it?
  • 4. Disclaimer: Online health information is not a substitute for consulting with a healthcare professional.
  • 5. Sources of Reliable Consumer Health Information: Where to begin?
  • 6. What is your starting when searching for point for online health information?
  • 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. Today’s starting point: McGill Library’s Consumer Health Guide http://www.mcgill.ca/library/find/su bjects/health/consumerhealth
  • 9. Spotlight 1 http://medlineplus.gov/ Image source: http://medlineplus.gov
  • 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. 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. 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. Spotlight 2 http://summaries.cochrane.org/ Image source: http://summaries.cochrane.org/
  • 14. Image source: http://summaries.cochrane.org/about-site
  • 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. Cochrane Summaries … for high-quality evidence ✔ Summary of systematic review ✔ Date of publication ✔ Links to related summaries: See ✔ “Health topics” ✔ “More like this”
  • 17. Spotlight 3 http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/
  • 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. 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. 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. Other important sites Santé Montréal Portal: For local health and social services information Medbroadcast: For drug information
  • 22. Evaluating health websites: 5Ws Case study: Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
  • 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. • 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. • When is the information from? (This is not necessarily the © date.) LOOK FOR: •Dates •“Updated on” •Dates on cited references
  • 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. • Why was the information written? LOOK FOR: •Mission Statement •Editorial Policy •About Us •(Medical) Disclaimer
  • 28. Use your judgment. If it seems unreal, it probably is. http://malepregnancy.com/
  • 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. 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. Questions? Pamela Harrison Consumer Health Liaison Librarian pamela.harrison@mcgill.ca 514-398-6272