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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spotlight on MedlinePlus

Recent research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project estimates that nearly 80% of American internet users, or close to 113 million adults, have looked online for health information. Most internet users start at a general search engine when researching health and medical advice online. Only a quarter of those check the source and date of the information they find, while three-quarters of them say that they sometimes, hardly ever, or never check the date or source ot the infromation. This translates to about 85 million Americans gathering health advice online without consistently examining the quality indicators of the information they find. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that this study found that some of these internet users were confused and frustrated.

From The Pew Internet and American Life Project Online Health Search 2006 http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2006/Online-Health-Search-2006.aspx?r=1
Retrieved May 12, 2010.

If a general search engine is not the best place to begin a search for health information, what is? One of the most reliable web sites for consumer health information is MedlinePlus.

MedlinePlus brings together authoritative, up-to-date, unbiased information from the worlds’s largest medlcal library, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and trusted health related organizations. With information on over 800 diseases, MedlinePlus offers directories, a medical encyclopedia, a medical dictionary, easy-to-understand tutorials on common conditions, tests and treatments, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials. It is a first-stop for health professionals and consumers seeking current, reliable health information on the Internet.

Check out MedlinePlus:

contributed by C.A.R., librarian

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