Posted by on Apr 24, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Deciphering online health content is a challenge for many who search on the Internet.  This infographic provides some basic information from two sources: The University of California, San Francisco Website and the Medical Library Association Website. Both are excellent resources to turn to if you have a question about online content.

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Online Health Content

What Online Health Content to Trust

According to the University of California, San Francisco website

Questions to ask about information on the Internet:

  • Is the information based on scientific evidence?
  • Is the information supported by facts
  • Is the original source listed?
  • Do other sources back up the information?
  • Is the information current?

Red Flags for those searching the internet are:

  • The information is anonymous
  • There is a conflict of interest
  • The information is one-sided or biased
  • The information is outdated
  • There is a claim of a miracle or secret cure
  • No evidence is cited

The Medical Library Association provides extremely useful guidelines when looking up health information and they also provide a list of their top ten general health websites as well as specific ones for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Their content guideline criteria include Content Evaluation Guidelines determining who is “sponsoring” the website and they provide guidelines based on the ending of the website: .gov, .edu and .org. However, they did recommend one .com website, for Mayo Clinic in their top ten list.

MLA also suggests looking at how frequently the content on the site is updated, determining if the content is factual (based on professional and juried articles) and to look at the audience for the content.

And don’t forget personalized online health information on Medivizor!

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