Research shows 80 percent of Internet users have searched the Internet for health information. Most of those people, 48 percent, search on behalf of a loved one and 36 percent search for themselves (Health Topics, 2011).
What sites do you trust? You can click on the top result, you can click on a URL that is somewhat familiar, or you can arbitrarily choose the eighth link on the second page.
I want to offer an alternative: Ask the Medical Librarian. That’s me. I am trained and experienced at evaluating health information for accuracy and quality. Our clinicians rely on having the best and most up-to-date information for use in treating their patients.
The purpose of this blog is to have conversations about resources for better health.
I will post information about a community health topic, siting reputable and proven sources, and you can comment and ask questions.
Here are some ideas I'm working on. Do you have others?
Regional influenza: overview, vaccination rates and flu activity in the area.
Depression: overview, symptoms, interactive quiz, antidepressant cost comparison.
Health screenings: sources for interactive guidelines by age and gender.
Chronic conditions: overview, list of conditions, how Allen county residents have rated their health status
You ask, and I'll respond by suggesting quality, evidence-based websites and local support resources or by referring you to an expert. I can’t address patient-specific clinical questions. Those are best answered by the physician who knows you best.
Together, we can create a health blog that is an interactive and trustworthy resource for you.
If you’re searching the Internet for health advice, consider making the librarian your first link!
Health Topics. (2011). Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Accessed 3/15/2011 at http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/HealthTopics.aspx