Published on October 22, 2014
1. Finding and Evaluating Quality Health Information on the Internet Beth M. Transue MLS MET Librarian, Messiah College Murray Library
2. Worst Case Scenario! • Dilbert Cartoon • http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2007-02-18/
3. Who Searches for Health Info? • 59% of US Adults have looked online for health information in the past year. • 80% of online health inquiries start at a search engine such as Google. • 50% of health information searches are on behalf of someone else. Fox, S. & Duggan, M. Health Online 2013. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/01/15/health-online-2013/
4. What Should I do with Health Information I find Online? • DO: • Increase understanding of health concern or disease • Use to improve overall health such as dietary recommendations • Prepare for appointments with HCP • Use to guide discussion and questions with HCP • Use for decision-making with your HCP • DO NOT: • Diagnose yourself • Change care plan put in place by your HCP. Talk to HCP instead • Scare yourself! You do NOT have Ebola!
5. Search for Health Information • Google – Use Advanced Search • .gov • .edu • .org Search .org domain to find national organizations about your health concern
6. What About Wikipedia? • Anyone can edit a Wikipedia page – no medical peer review • 9 of 10 wikipedia articles about the 10 most costly medical conditions included significant medical information errors. • How to use Wikipedia for Health Information: • Don’t use the content, or use with caution • Use the bibliography and external links to find primary information and to verify Wikipedia content Hasty, R. T. ... et. al. (2014). Wikipedia versus peer-reviewed medical literature for information from 10 most costly medical conditions. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 114(5): 368- 73. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2014.035
7. Evaluate Health Information • Consider: • Author/Organization – are they well known and trustworthy? • Currency (Date) – should be recent • Factual, not biased • No conflict of interest such as reviewing and selling a health product • Audience – look for “consumer health” information.
8. Selected Resources • Messiah College Wellness Resources Page • MedlinePlus – general health and disease information • Drugs and Supplements • Drug Interaction Checker • Nutrition and Diets • Environmental Health http://libguides.messiah.edu/wellnessprogram
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