How to search for reliable health information on the Internet
A guide for the novice searcher Latrina Keith, MLS
There’s a tremendous amount of healthinformation on the Internet, but … Where do you search? How do you search? How do you decide if what you found is good, quality information?
Where do you search?Use a search engine (e.g. Google, Ask.com, Yahoo)Use reliable consumer health Web sites (e.g. MEDLINEplus, NOAH: New York Online Access to Health)
How do you search? Think and decide what your search topic will be Think about using different key words with similar meanings when searching (e.g. women, females) Use quotes with search phrases to narrow search results (e.g. “breast cancer”) Click on the “HELP” section of the search engine for more information
What to look for in a Web page todetermine what is quality information? Who wrote it? Look for the author and/or organization sponsoring the page Where is the author/organization located? Look for a mailing address, phone number, or e-mail address (contact information is usually found at the bottom of the page) When was the page last updated? Check for the date the Web page was last modified (this is usually found at the bottom of the page)
Examples of good sources ofreliable health informationGovernment Resources MEDLINEplus http://medlineplus.gov NYC Children with Special Health Care Needs http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/phc/phc.html PubMed http://www.pubmed.gov
Non-profit organizationsKidsHealthhttp://www.kidshealth.orgAmerican Academy of Family Physicianshttp://familydoctor.orgAmerican Diabetes Associationhttp://www.diabetes.org
Libraries and other educationalinstitutionsThe New York Academy of Medicine Libraryhttp://www.nyam.org/libraryThe New York Public Libraryhttp://www.nypl.orgBrooklyn Public Libraryhttp://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.orgQueens Borough Public Libraryhttp://www.queenslibrary.org
To Conclude This is only a sample of the many health information resources available on the Internet. While consumers have access to information which can educate them on proper health care, it is never a substitute for consultation and diagnosis by a qualified physician.
Questions? Contact: Latrina Keith e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org