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Some NIH tips on finding reliable health information online

'Finding Reliable Health Information Online' , a webpage from an NIH educational initiative provides tips with links (1), and presents a good organizational tool to frame a health info query.
For example, in relating back to an orphan drug inquiry, NIH observes:

As Internet users quickly discover, an enormous amount of health information is available online. Finding accurate and reliable information on genetic and rare diseases among the millions of online sources is a difficult task for almost everyone. We hope these tips will help you perform searches more easily.

Here are several excerpts:
Articles discussing treatment:These articles discuss the effects in humans of various treatments that have been tested or used in a specific disease. Articles that discuss treatment may be about many different types of studies that are conducted in humans. Some of the more common studies include clinical trials, case-control studies, cohort studies and case reports.
Treatment articles in published scientific literature report human studies with negative outcomes as well as those with positive outcomes. In other words, some articles report studies where a treatment was deemed to have beneficial effects, while others report studies where a treatment was not deemed to have beneficial effects and/or may have been associated with side effects, some of which could be severe.
Some studies report on the safety of a particular treatment, and do not directly address whether the treatment was actually deemed to have had a beneficial effect. The treatment discussed may be already in use, or it may be experimental and not widely available (or not available at all).
Interpreting the results of studies and weighing the evidence can be a very complex task. Because of this complexity, and because of the technical nature of these articles, we strongly recommend that you discuss with your physician any articles that interest you.

For comprehensive information on genetic testing and genetic counseling which includes Educational Materials, see Gene Tests/Gene Clinics (2)
About 'Selecting and Evaluating Search Engines' NIH suggestions include:
The University at Albany Libraries (1) developed the Internet Tutorials site to provide information on how search engines work and how they perform these searches. The site provides users with names of search engines, and also offers information and tutorials on using and searching the Web, browsers, research guides and subject directories.All tutorials are maintained by Laura Cohen. She is emeritus faculty at the University at Albany, SUNY, where she served on the faculty of the University Libraries for many years.

(1)http://www.genome.gov/11008303
(2)www.geneclinics.org

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 26, 2008 1:09 PM.

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