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Consumer Health Online ... Not One Size Fits All

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A selective overview of online consumer health resources conntected to example questions illustrating how and when to best use which resource.

A selective overview of online consumer health resources conntected to example questions illustrating how and when to best use which resource.

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  • 1. CONSUMER HEALTH ONLINE Patricia F. Anderson / Perplexity Peccable <pfa@umich.edu> Health Sciences Libraries, University of Michigan © 2009 Regents of the University of Michigan. This work is subject to a Creative Commons license.
  • 2. Not One Size Fits All
    • Health care consumers are individuals, with unique information skills and needs as well as unique medical histories.
    • Online consumer health information has evolved (and continues to change!) to address the variety and range of questions.
    • Here are some of the wonderful but sometimes less well known consumer health resources available free on the Web.
  • 3. Some Favorites
    • Logos montage: FamilyDoctor, KidsHealth, healthfinder. Medem, NORD, MedlinePlus, Merck Manual, MedHelp, Netwellness
  • 4. URLs for Some of the Best
    • AAFP: Family Doctor: http://familydoctor.org/
    • healthfinder: http://www.healthfinder.gov/
    • Kidshealth: http://www.kidshealth.org/
    • Med Help International: http://www.medhelp.org/GettingStarted.htm
    • Medem.com: http://medem.com/MedLB/medlib_entry.cfm
    • MedlinePlus: http://www.medlineplus.gov/
    • Merck Manual of Medical Information - Home Edition: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/index.html
    • National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD): http://www.rarediseases.org/
    • Netwellness: http://netwellness.org/
  • 5. Question:
    • Do I need to see the doctor?
    • Is it OK to wait a while, or should I come in right away?
  • 6. FamilyDoctor:
    • AAFP: Family Doctor: http://familydoctor.org/
  • 7. FamilyDoctor: Search by Symptom
    • AAFP: Family Doctor: http://familydoctor.org/
  • 8. healthfinder.gov
    • healthfinder: http://www.healthfinder.gov/
  • 9. healthfinder – Online Checkups Collection
    • healthfinder: http://www.healthfinder.gov/
  • 10. Merck Manual - A Standard Quick Reference Tool
    • http://www.merck.com/mmhe/index.html
  • 11. Question:
    • I did a search in Google, but there is so much to look at! I don’t know where to start.
  • 12. MedlinePlus
    • For the person with a new diagnosis
    • Or the person who is new to health information searching
    • MedlinePlus: http://www.medlineplus.gov/
  • 13. MedlinePlus
    • MedlinePlus: http://www.medlineplus.gov/
  • 14. Question:
    • I like my doctor to tell me what’s best. I don’t want to have to look hard. Can’t you just help me?
  • 15. Medem - From Major Associations
    • Medem.com: http://medem.com/MedLB/medlib_entry.cfm
  • 16. Medem - From Major Associations
    • American Academy of Ophthalmology
    • American Academy of Pediatrics
    • American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
    • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
    • American Medical Association
    • American Psychiatric Association
    • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
    • … and many more …
  • 17. MedlinePlus - For the Patient with a New Diagnosis
    • MedlinePlus: http://www.medlineplus.gov/
  • 18. Question:
    • This isn’t a big deal -- I just want to know what some of these words mean. I didn’t want to bother you by asking. Or could you show me a picture? I don’t really understand where in my body this is .
  • 19. healthfinder.gov
    • healthfinder: http://www.healthfinder.gov/
  • 20. healthfinder.gov
    • healthfinder: http://www.healthfinder.gov/
  • 21. MedlinePlus
    • MedlinePlus: http://www.medlineplus.gov/
  • 22. Question:
    • I looked at some of the sites that were recommended, but they were too simple -- I want more. Maybe not too much more, though.
    • Or …
  • 23. Question:
    • I like to find my own information. I don’t like people to make up my mind for me. But I don’t want to waste time -- I want to find some good stuff quickly.
  • 24. healthfinder - Specialized Consumer Health Search Tool
    • healthfinder: http://www.healthfinder.gov/
  • 25. healthfinder - Specialized Consumer Health Search Tool
    • “ Search consumer health information using Google technology for the most relevant search results. This special search features information selected from over 300 U.S. government Web sites and 600 nonprofit organizations .”
  • 26. MedStory
    • Medtory: http://www.medstory.com/
  • 27. Question:
    • I’m going to be having a procedure done. The handouts the clinic gave me are fine, but I’m a little nervous and I’d really like to see a video or talk with someone who has had this done.
  • 28. MedlinePlus - Interactive Tutorials & Surgery Videos
    • MedlinePlus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorial.html
  • 29. MedlinePlus - Interactive Tutorials & Surgery Videos
    • MedlinePlus: Interactive Tutorial: Mammogram: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/mammogram/htm/index.htm
  • 30. American Self-Help Clearinghouse
    • http://www.selfhelpgroups.org/ OR http://mentalhelp.net/selfhelp/
  • 31. ACOR
    • Association of Cancer Online Resources: http://acor.org
  • 32. Question:
    • I want a second opinion, but I don’t want my doctor to think I don’t trust him. I just want to feel more sure, understand better, and not take up all his time. It might take me a while to really understand all this.
  • 33. MedHelp - When There are More Questions
    • Med Help International: http://www.medhelp.org/GettingStarted.htm
  • 34. MedHelp - When There are More Questions
    • Med Help International: Partners: http://www.medhelp.org/medical_partners.htm
      • American Academy of Opthalmology
      • Cleveland Clinic
      • Cornell University
      • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
      • National Jewish Medical and Research Center
      • Partners HealthCare
      • USF Health
  • 35. NetWellness
    • NetWellness: http://netwellness.org
  • 36. Question:
    • It’s not me -- it’s my kid. I can’t figure out how to explain to him what’s happening.
  • 37. KidsHealth - For Parents, Teens, and Kids
    • Kidshealth: http://www.kidshealth.org/
  • 38. American Academy of Pediatrics
    • http://www.aap.org/topics.html
  • 39. Kids.gov: Health
    • Kids.gov: Health: http://www.kids.gov/k_health.htm
  • 40. Question:
    • When possible, I like to avoid drugs. I use mostly herbs and alternative or complementary treatments. I heard that some of these can interfere with the drugs you’ve prescribed. How can I learn more?
  • 41. About Herbs (MSKCC)
    • MSKCC: About Herbs: http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/11570.cfm
  • 42. MD Anderson: CIMER
    • MD Anderson: CIMER: http://www.mdanderson.org/departments/cimer/
  • 43. MD Anderson: CIMER
    • MD Anderson: CIMER: http://www.mdanderson.org/departments/cimer/
    • Reviews of Therapy
  • 44. Question:
    • You know that what’s wrong with me isn’t something that is easy to understand or that turns up with a quick search. I already tried that. You folks are great, but I want to talk to some other people like me or find information beyond what you’ve given me. Isn’t there some place I can start?
  • 45. NORD - For Rare Diseases or Uncommon Health Concerns
    • National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD): http://www.rarediseases.org/
  • 46. Question:
    • I heard about a treatment for my condition in the news. What’s the scoop on that? (IE: What is the latest information on omega 3 fatty acids for mental health treatment?)
  • 47. ScienceDaily: Health
    • ScienceDaily: Health: http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/health_medicine/
  • 48. Question:
    • I want to know everything possible. How would you look for information on this? Where would you go?
      • --> These days many people search PubMed.gov, Guidelines.gov, eMedicine, ClinicalTrials.gov and other resources intended primarily for the practicing clinician. How these are or are not integrated into the patient-practitioner relationship must be a matter of judgment related to the particular situation in which the question arises.
  • 49. Other Questions?
      • Contact your local library