interactive version. Continually updated with notices of updates on its “Changes and Corrections” page. See the table of contents (text version) at: http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual_home/contents.jsp
Name: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Description: NHLBI site provides extensive information on diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung, blood, and on sleep disorders. Links on it’s “Health Information” page lead to a variety of resources on virtually all aspects of these conditions, some specifically for Latinos and women.
Name: National Immunization
Program (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Description: This site provides guides and recommendations on immunization for children, adults, and travelers. It also includes information on disease prevention, fact sheets, a glossary, information on benefits and risks of immunization, news, and downloadable publications (PDF) and educational resources.
Name: National Institute of Mental Health - For the Public
Description: This site provides information about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illnesses, including clinical trials, reports from the Surgeon General, and news. Many educational and informative publications are available in full-text, including brochures, information sheets, and fact sheets. The “Science Education” page contains links to Quick Time videos and other visual resources.
Name: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
(NINDS) - Disorders
Description: This site contains an extensive alphabetical list disorders that link to detailed information for consumers. These pages include a description of the disorder, information on treatment, prognosis, current research, health organizations supporting the disorder, and a list of related publications and information. Links in the sidebar take the consumer to studies with patients, research literature, and press releases. Pages include revision/review dates
Name: National Institutes of Health, Health Information (U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services)
Description: Provides information on specific diseases and conditions from the institutes that research them. Full-text publications include brochures, fact sheets, and handbooks. The site also provides information on research studies, clinical trials and drugs; a database of toll-free information numbers; and links to other trusted resources
Name: National Stroke Association
Description: This “All About Stroke” page provides excellent consumer/patient information and includes a “Top 8 Links” sidebar. There is information for survivors and caregivers; information on prevention, prevention, and clinical trials; a glossary; and links to other stroke-related resources.
Name: Your Orthopedic Connection (American
Description: Provides an extensive list of illustrated fact sheets and patient education booklets on various orthopedic conditions, diseases, and injuries. Includes information on prevention, safety, sports, and wellness; a “Find an Orthopedist” directory; and news. Pages provide review/revision dates.
General Drug Information Resources:
Name: Drug InfoNet
Description: This site provides not only prescription drug information and information from the drug manufacturers, but also provides information on diseases and links to various healthcare organizations and government sites.
Name: Needy Meds
Description: NeedyMeds attempts to bring together programs from the various pharmaceutical manufacturers to assist people who can't afford to purchase their prescriptions. Each company has its own program, special requirements, forms and procedures. To date, no central clearinghouse exists for obtaining information about the information or the drugs themselves. This site is an information source only.
Name: RxList - The Internet Drug Index
Description: A very useful drug index, It has an excellent search engine and provides information on both a consumer and professional level. Information on various disease categories is also provided as is Taber's Medical Encyclopedia. An advanced search engine is also available which allows searching by drug name, keyword, imprint code, NDC and medical terminology as well.
Name: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Description: The Food and Drug Administration oversees pharmaceuticals as well as medical devices and their approval. Searching the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research section will link to original approval letters as well as professional and consumer information on prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Although somewhat cumbersome to search, this site is a wealth of drug information for both professionals and consumers.
Name: CenterWatch/Clinical Trials Listing Service
Description: This useful resource lists newly approved drugs; drugs in current clinical research; weekly trial results as well as a link to the PDR Family Medical Guide for Prescription Drugs.
URL for the Herb List: http://www.herbmed.org/herblist.asp?varAll=All&varName=Scientific
Description: Complementary Medicine: Produced by the Alternative Medicine Foundation, HerbMed provides evidence-based information on the use of herbs for health for both health professionals and the general public. More than 120 different herbs are currently represented in the database (searchable and listed alphabetically). Links are provided to authoritative medical references.
Name: Not-2-late.com: The Emergency contraception website
Description: Not-2-late.com is a comprehensive resource on emergency contraception that is geared toward consumers. The information provided on the site is accurate and current.
Name: Merck - Medco
Description: Drug Information: Consumer-oriented drug information (click on "Find drug information" on the homepage, then search by drug name), well organized with dates of latest updates to the monographs noted. Also includes a toll-free number with extensions for recorded information about each specific brand name drug.
General (Other) Useful Health Sites:
Name: CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service
Description: CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service contains trials for many types of diseases. It is searchable by disease categories and geographic area. All of the trials listed are open (enrolling new patients).
Description: The U.S. National Institutes of Health, through its National Library of Medicine, has developed ClinicalTrials.gov to provide patients, family members and members of the public current information about clinical research studies. Before searching, you may want to learn more about clinical trials and more about this Web site. Check often for regular updates to ClinicalTrials.gov. ClinicalTrials.gov provides easy access to information about the location of clinical trials, their design and purpose, criteria for participation and additional disease and treatment information. Check often for regular updates to ClinicalTrials.gov.
Name: Comparison of Health Information Megasites
Description: Twenty-five Internet sites considered authoritative sources of health information were evaluated using the following criteria: Administration and Quality Control, Content, and Design. Comparisons are made across all sites with specific focus on selection policies, update frequency, response time to e-mail requests, and features such as use of tables, frames, Java, and animated GIFs, navigation tools, and search engines. By librarians: P. F. Anderson, Northwestern University; Nancy Allee, Jean Chung, Brian Westra, University of Michigan; and Virginia Lingle, Pennsylvania State University.
Name: Health Care Information Resources
Description: Liszt is an enormous directory of Internet discussion groups: mailing lists, newsgroups, and IRC chat channels. It is a way to find groups of people on the 'net discussing whatever it is you really care about. Sometimes just "talking with" someone else who has the same concern is a great help.
Name: Birth Control: Planned Parenthood Federation of
Description: This Website is sponsored by PPFA and the premier non profit advocacy organization for reproductive health care and birth control information/access.
Description: La Leche League International is one of the leading authorities on breastfeeding information, especially information for consumers. The purpose of the Web site is to provide a wide range of education and support to breastfeeding mothers.
Name: ProMoM: Promotion of Mother’s Milk Inc.
Description: This site identifies the organization as: “a non-profit dedicated to increasing public awareness and public acceptance of breastfeeding.” The information provided on this site is accurate and current.
Name: The Nursing Lounge
Description: This is one section of a large parenting site. The purpose of this site is to provide information and interaction for nurturing parents Consumers are the site’s intended audience.
Name: Nanny’s Place: Breastfeeding
Description: This is a support and information site for breastfeeding mothers and families. It is intended for families, mothers, mothers-to-be, and women considering pregnancy.
Description: This site allows breastfeeding mothers and health care professionals to access information related to the art and science of breastfeeding. It provides support and information on breastfeeding.
Name: Innerbody - Human anatomy
Description: An interactive site for the study of human anatomy.
Name: AMA Physician Select
Description: Find a Doctor: This is a comprehensive Web database directory of medical doctors (MDs) and osteopaths (DOs) practicing in the
Description: Consumer Information: Quackwatch is a nonprofit company formed by Dr. Stephen Barrett to expose health-related "frauds, myths, fads and fallacies". Well-researched, up-to-date, authoritative information on a wide range of practices and medical advertising deemed questionable or obvious "quackery." English, Spanish, German, French and Portuguese language versions available.
Description: This Web site was founded to help consumers lead healthier lives. Information on nutrition and fitness is easily accessed through visually appealing icons on the homepage.
Description: This Web site’s nutrition pages addresses “Nutrition and Pregnancy,” Nutrition and Disease,” Food Biotechnology/Radiation,” and “Nutrition and Children.”
Name: Nutrition Navigator: A Rating Guide to Nutrition Web
Description: This Web site was developed to address two specific concerns Web users have when seeking information: 1) quick access and 2) trustworthy information.
Name: American Dietetic Association
Description: This Web site is the homepage for the American Dietetic Association. Accessing this site provides information on what is available for consumers and health care providers. Users can obtain information on nutrition and health lifestyles.
Description: This is the Web site for the center for complimentary/Alternative Medicine at the National Institute of Health. It is a multipurpose site that provides information for health professionals and consumers.
Name: Precious Aromatherapy
Description: This is a commercial firm which offers extensive information on aromatherapy, including a description of aromatherapy and essential oils and a review of many essential oils, including their botanical and common names.
Name: American Botanical Council
Description: This is the Web site for the American Botanical Council, which is a nonprofit research and education organization. This site has a predominately commercial focus, with selling educational products related to herbal preparation as its main focus.
Web users must always make an independent judgment of the quality of the information posted on web sites. Many aspects should be considered. Some are related to the clarity of the information, others to its relevance, yet others to its reliability.
The following list is in no way comprehensive, and is only intended as a reminder of the many pitfalls related to medical information on the Web.
Factors related to clarity may include whether or not:
Factors related to relevance include whether or not:
Factors related to reliability include whether or not:
The quality and variability of information on the Internet are generally recognized as a problem and there is no agreement on how to resolve them. Rating schemes have been suggested as one possibility, but they have not yet been used by any legal information Websites. Ratings can be used in making assessments, and analyses of Websites.
There are problems associated with developing a rating form that the general public can use to test a legal information site. Perhaps the form should be designed for subject matter experts, and then the ratings posted as a seal on the reviewed site or as a listing of quality sites included in a clearinghouse. That information would be valuable for both the legal consumer and the site developer.
If consumers do choose to use the Internet to find legal information, it may be best for them to approach law-related sites as places to gather background data and information on personal legal matters. They may then use this information as the basis for a more informed approach to their lawyer and the legal system.
1) Fitzpatrick J. Joyce. The Nurses’ Guide to Consumer Health Web Sites. Springer Publishing Company. 2001.
2) Public Health Management and Policy Class MPHP 439. Guide to Good Websites for Disease. Fourth Edition.
3) Internet Source: Evaluating Websites: Criteria for Assessing the Quality of Health Information on the Internet: http://online.sfsu.edu/~advprac/websites/evaluatingwebsites.htm.
4) Internet Source: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Or Why it’s a Good idea to Evaluate Web Sources: http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalcrit.html.
5) Internet Source: Evaluating Health Information: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/evaluatinghealthinformation.html.
6) Internet source: A report on the Evaluation of Criteria Sets for Assessing Health Web Sites:http://www.consumerwebwatch.com/news/health/goldschmidt_report.pdf.
7) Internet Source: Evaluating Websites and Information: http://www.namss.org.uk/evaluate.htm.