There are tons of sound health and medical information online, as well as boatloads of mediocre, inaccurate, and just plain off-the-wall stuff. Commonsense and a healthy skepticism can help you sort the useful from the useless. Educating yourself to analyze and evaluate information can help even more.
The following articles outline the criteria developed and used by leading healthcare organizations and professionals to evaluate information on websites, but the criteria are also useful for print, television or any other medium.
How To Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers prepared by the National Cancer Institute is great for evaluating health information on any site and about any condition.
The MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing provides tips to help evaluate health information on the web. The MedlinePlus Evaluating Health Information page has links to articles and tutorials on evaluating health information.
Interactive Health Communication (IHC) Application Checklist was developed by The Science Panel on Interactive Health and Communication, a panel of experts convened by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). You can print it out and actually use the form as a check list.
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