Quality Health Information on the Web: A Tool KitTips for Finding Accurate Health Information
on the Web
What is quality health information? Information that is current, scientifically-based and supported by peer-reviewed studies.
Ways to Find Quality Information on the Web
Consider the source
- Only use sources that you recognize
- Potential sources include the government, non-profit institutions, professional organizations, a health system, a commercial organization, or an individual
- Beware of site bias – identify the site’s purpose and funding
- Advertisements should be clearly labeled as “Advertisement” or “From our Sponsor”
|.gov = Government||.org = Organization|
|.edu = Education||.com = Company|
|Note that MedlinePlus is produced by the government.|
Focus on quality information
- The author should be clearly identifiable with provided credentials or contact information
- The information presented should be reviewed by an editorial board that includes medical experts this should be stated in the “About Us” section of the webpage
- Anything that sounds too good to be true probably is
- It is recommended to check more than one site – get a second opinion!
- Notice what types of questions you answer before you can view site content – personal information may be sold or shared
Look for the evidence
- Avoid opinions and testimonials
- Check for medical research support
Make sure the information is current
- Documents should be dated
- Remember that medical information is always evolving
- Watch out for broken links – they may reflect a poorly-maintained site
Remember to consult with your doctor
- Patient-provider partnerships lead to the best medical decisions
MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [updated 2005 Aug 12; cited 2005 August 11]. Available from: http://medlineplus.gov/.
American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Food and Nutrition Misinformation. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2006;106:601-607.