Evaluating Health Information on the Internet
What is the Internet?
The Internet is an immeasurable store of information connecting networks of computers worldwide. The information found on the Internet is unregulated and is not always from reliable sources. Websites can contain large amounts of information, which is sometimes accurate but in some cases may be inaccurate or misleading.. The fact that information is published on the Internet does not make it true.
Health Information on the Internet
The Internet is a valuable resource for health information when used correctly. Online information can help you understand your illness better and enable you to work with your doctor to get the best medical care.
Make sure the website is reliable, credible and trustworthy when searching for health information.
Evaluating the Information
It is important to evaluate the information you have found during a search on the Internet to ensure it is accurate and comes from a reliable source. When evaluating, think critically and don’t accept any information at face value.
Ask yourself Who is responsible for the website? Is the information accurate? Is the information objective? Is the information up-to-date? Who is the site aimed at? If the information is aimed at health care providers it may assume knowledge of medicine that you do not have.
- Anyone can publish information on the Internet – it doesn’t make it true!
- Be wary of incorrect information and false claims.
- Health information gained through the Internet is not a substitute for professional independent medical advice.