by HealthCanal, Aug 23, 2015 – Madison, Wisconsin – If you’re like most people, you’ve consulted “Dr. Google” from time to time, whether you’ve turned to your smart phone for answers to your child’s puzzling new rash or scoured the Web for tips on how to lower your cholesterol.
In fact, 72 percent of Internet users report searching for health information online, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
Of course, the Internet can be a dangerous place for one’s peace of mind, and inaccurate and biased information abounds. That’s why it’s always best to consult your doctor about any health concerns. If you’re going to do additional research online, make sure you’re using smart strategies to ferret out facts from fluff.
Michael Venner, senior academic librarian with the Ebling Library in UW-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health, shares these tips:
Check the Source
Websites that end in .gov or .edu are usually the most trustworthy, and .org websites are also usually reliable. Some websites, such as heart.org, the website of the American Heart Association, have an icon at the bottom of the homepage that notes that the website complies with the Health on the Net Foundation’s standards for trustworthy content. Web page footers on consumer health websites might also note when a page was last reviewed and by whom.