Presentation on theme: "Gateway to Health: Reliable Information on the Internet Consumer Health Decisions Series."— Presentation transcript:
Gateway to Health: Reliable Information on the Internet Consumer Health Decisions Series
Presented by: Name Rank Department of Family Development University of Wisconsin-Extension Family Living Educator County
This Program was Developed by: Consumer Health Education Team of the University of Wisconsin Extension Family Living Program January, 2008 Marma McIntee, Molly Haak, Allison Hales Espeseth, Christine Hawkinson University of Wisconsin-Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin counties cooperating. UW-Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA.
Adapted with permission from: The Northern Area Health Education Center, Inc. http://www.nahec-wi.org/index.html
Overview Learn how to use the Internet as a health information source Develop an understanding of the quality of information on the Internet Learn the best ways to find reliable health information web sites
Who uses the Internet and Why? As of 2004, 79% of Americans had searched the Internet for health information Internet provides: Privacy Convenience Many different sources/viewpoints Internet may encourage: More communication with health provider
Internet as Consumer Aid One of the Internet's strengths is its ability to help consumers find the right needle in a digital haystack of data. - Jared Sandberg Wall Street Journal columnist
Internet as Consumer Annoyance Trying to get information from the Internet is like drinking from a firehose - Mitch Kapor Founder of Lotus software company
Why should you search the Internet for health information? Make informed health decisions Learn about new treatments Improve communication with health care providers Find support Promote healthier lifestyle Find resources for school and work
How can the Internet be confusing? Information overload Disorganized Technical or unfamiliar terms Too much information can make decision-making difficult
Why else is the Internet confusing? Privacy/safety may be at risk: Your personal/financial information Internet is a free-for-all: Anyone can post information May not be reviewed by experts The quality of some information is uncertain
o Products may be unproven/illegal o Information presented may be unreliable and biased o.com (commercial) and.biz (business) sites usually selling something Why else…
What suggests that this site might be selling something?
Are consumers concerned about reliability? Yes, however: tend to visit only first few search results spend average of 6 minutes on sites cant remember sites they visited Consumers should be just as critical of information from the Internet as they are from any other source
What do we mean by reliable? Accurate Reliable information = & Complete
How can we know if Internet health information is reliable? Even researchers find it difficult to determine what is reliable Information on web sites for medical and academic centers is not always perfectly complete…but still credible But new tools are being developed all the time. Lets show you the best…
First: BEWARE!! Does the web site: make outrageous claims? offer prescriptions or treatments not by a licensed health care provider? offer information only to sell a product?
Next, when looking at health information, does the website: clearly state purpose and sponsors? separate advertising/sales from health information? only use information from other reliable sources? say how it chooses to link to other web sites? keep information up-to-date? say how it will protect your personal information? give contact information?
Are there tools to check reliability? Lots of rating symbols that supposedly indicate quality Lots of checklists, too Most havent been shown to actually work! You need to know that ones that do…
What tools should we use? Some reputable sources: Web site rating check lists HON code (a quality rating symbol) Subject gateways
UW Libraries Web Site Checklist http://staff.library.wisc.edu/instruction/instmat/ custom/evalweb.pdf Created by the University of Wisconsin libraries Key questions to ask when thinking about the credibility of ANY web site
DISCERN http://www.discern.org.uk/ A 15-item checklist Walk through a web page to help you determine the reliability of health information
HONcode: Health on the Net Code http://www.hon.ch/ The number-one principle that HON code subscribers must adhere to is admitting that what they do cannot ever replace the relationship between a patient and health care provider Look for similar disclaimers where the HONcode does appear
What are Subject Gateways? Subject gateways or directories: Evaluate websites before linking Point to quality information resources Save time!
Suggested Health Information Subject Gateways Healthy Wisconsin People http://www.healthywisconsin.org/ MEDLINE plus http://medlineplus.gov/ healthfinder http://www.healthfinder.gov/ BadgerLink for library resources http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/badgerlink/
http://www.healthywisconsin.org/ Links to other health information gateways Key national and Wisconsin web resources in ten categories Links to library resources and support, including Monday e-mail archives
http://www.healthfinder.gov/ Search or pick topics from list Searches can be limited to age groups/populations News, including health events calendars Background information & reference tools Selection policy
Free to Wisconsin citizens Periodical and newspaper indexes include much full-text EBSCO health databases HealthSource Plus Clinical Reference Systems USP DI Volume II, Advice for the Patient http://www.badgerlink.net/