“The internet is a great source of information to help you
manage or research a condition or treatment,
but it is not reliable for self-diagnosis or self-treatment…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Health Information Evaluation on the Internet Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • HONcode
  • Health Information on the Internet/Web/World Wide Web
  • Health On the Net
  • Internet Health Information
  • Online Health Information
  • Web Surfing

 

About Us

What is the first thing to do when reading a medical site?

In The Smart Searcher: A Guide To Online Medical Advice the American Heart Association (AHA) explain:

“The first thing to do when reading a medical site is to know your source. There should be an “About Us” tag that tells you who maintains the site and why. If this section is missing, or if the site seems focused on selling something, look elsewhere or proceed with skepticism”.2

In The Smart Searcher: A Guide To Online Medical Advice – Who Can You Trust? the AHA also note:

“The most reliable sources include accredited medical schools, university teaching hospitals and reputable nonprofit organizations such as the American Heart Association. These sites (which end in .edu and .org) provide health information and libraries. Government sources such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services are also reliable. (These sites end in .gov)”.3

Evaluation

What criteria may be used to evaluate health information on the WWW?

In How To Find Cancer Resources You Can Trust: How To Trust the Websites You Visit the (United States) National Cancer Institute elaborate on:

“Online sources of cancer and other health information should make it easy for people to learn who is responsible for posting the information. They should make clear the original source of the information, along with the medical credentials of the people who prepare or review the posted material.

Use the following questions to determine the credibility of health information published online.

  • Who manages this information?…
  • What are the letters at the end of the web address?…
  • Who is paying for the project, and what is their purpose?…
  • What is the original source of the information that they have posted?…
  • How is information reviewed before it gets posted?…
  • How current is the information?…
  • If they are asking for personal information, how will they use that information and how will they protect your privacy?…”.4

In Making Decisions About Your Health: Internet Health Information – Website Reliability Checker the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) elaborate on:

“To assess which organisations and websites offer more reliable information, you can check a website against the following criteria:

  • Who owns the website?…
  • Why has the website been created?…
  • How easy is it to understand the information?…
  • Is the information up to date?…
  • How reputable is the source of information?…
  • Is the information supported by evidence-based practice?…”.5

Health Care Provider

What if I would like to find out what health information on the Internet is applicable to me?

If you would like to find out what health information on the Internet is applicable to you, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

The JH note:


“The internet is a great source of information to help you manage or research a condition or treatment, but it is not reliable for self-diagnosis or self-treatment of a health problem. If you have symptoms that worry you, if you are not sure about the reliability of the information you have found on the internet or if you find medical information you think is relevant to you, seek advice from your doctor”.6

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Health Information Evaluation on the Internet?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Health Information Evaluation on the Internet?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Making Decisions About Your Health: Internet Health Information – Ask Your Doctor. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 11 October 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/health-checks/making-decisions-about-your-health/ Accessed: 10 October 2022
  2. The Smart Searcher: A Guide To Online Medical Advice. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/doctor-appointments-questions-to-ask-your-doctor/the-smart-searcher-a-guide-to-online-medical-advice Accessed: 10 October 2022
  3. The Smart Searcher: A Guide To Online Medical Advice – Who Can You Trust? American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/doctor-appointments-questions-to-ask-your-doctor/the-smart-searcher-a-guide-to-online-medical-advice Accessed: 10 October 2022
  4. How To Find Cancer Resources You Can Trust: How To Trust the Websites You Visit. Updated: 27 July 2022. National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/managing-care/using-trusted-resources Accessed: 10 October 2022
  5. Making Decisions About Your Health: Internet Health Information – Website Reliability Checker. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 11 October 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/health-checks/making-decisions-about-your-health/ Accessed: 10 October 2022
  6. Making Decisions About Your Health: Internet Health Information – Ask Your Doctor. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 11 October 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/health-checks/making-decisions-about-your-health/ Accessed: 10 October 2022
Topic Last Updated: 10 October 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 10 October 2022

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