The best way to search for consumer health information is to visit one of the many reliable consumer health Websites that are available on the Web. The Medical Library Association has a list of the "Top Ten Most Useful Websites."
Some, like NOAH (New York Online Access to Health) are Web portals. They do not write their own material, but search the Web for consumer health information in particular categories, and assist the consumer by doing quality filtering for them (which does not, of course, eliminate YOUR need to also evaluate anything you find). Others, like Medem.com provide a database of original materials, in this case, contributed by a number of physician associations. MedlinePlus combines both, acting as a Web portal, but also contributing new information in the form of news items, a medical encyclopedia, and interactive tutorials. MedlinePlus also includes a growing collection of local information through their "Go Local" initiative.
Every consumer health Website is different. Users will find some easier to use than others. And, like everything else, you will find that you have a favorite. However, it is best to have an arsenal of several consumer health Websites at your disposal. As with search engines, each one will provide something different, so it is useful to understand how a number of them are organized.
|Try using these Consumer Health Websites to find information on Crohn's Disease.|
|NOAH, MedlinePlus, Mayo Clinic, KidsHealth, and Family Doctor|
If one of the recommended Websites does not have what you need, then you may have to search on your own for good material. Try to use information from medical societies (American Academy of Family Physicians), United States government agencies (National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control), advocacy groups (March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, and Arthritis Foundation), educational institutions (University of Utah Health Sciences Center) or hospitals (Methodist Health Care Center in Houston, Texas or Mayo Clinic) for your consumer health research.