To learn more about heart disease or how to reduce cholesterol intake, how do you navigate through 644 million active websites to find the few that will provide true, evidence-based suggestions and guidance? To start with, select websites that end in .gov, .org, or .edu. These sites have a higher chance of being trustworthy. In addition, MedlinePlus, a website resource from the National Institute of Health, gives the following criteria on what to look for in a health website.
Who is the website provider?
- Find the “About Us” section. Look for information about the organization’s purpose and strong evidence that they are staffed by experts. Do they list contact information?
Who pays for the site?
- Does the site seem to favor a sponsor? Did the sponsor pay for the cited research? Advertisements are not necessarily bad, but they should be labeled as such and not part of the site information.
What kind of information quality will the site provide?
- Look for phrases such as “review process” or “editorial board.” The information also needs to be based in cited research, not author opinion or unsupported research claims. Look closely to find a date the website was last updated. Health information changes rapidly so old websites will not be as accurate.
Will the site collect your personal information?
- If the site does collect personal information, what will they do with it? Locate the site’s privacy agreement. Only share your personal information with the site if you are comfortable with how they will use it.
Click HEREfor a closer look at how to choose health resources. The guide from MedlinePlus uses fictional website examples and a step by step tutorial on how to determine a site’s trustworthiness.
The 9Health Fair website, our medical practices, and all written information received from our office or fair site are fully approved and reviewed by professional medical staff and are overseen by our Medical Advisory Committee. Each health resource provided to you meets the above criteria as well as our internal medical review process. We also would like you to know how we handle your personal information by reading our privacy and security policy. If you have questions about your health, start with us. We can help connect you to the information you need.