Ask yourself the right questions

Is the information on the site relevant to you?

Does the site contain enough detail and evidence?

Is the information written clearly and easy to understand? Is the site well designed and does it have a "search" button?

Does the site remind you to share information with your doctor and/or pharmacist?

Does the site encourage you to find several ways to improve your health? Look for websites that list the physical, mental and emotional aspects of health.

Is there an e-mail address where you can ask questions?

Does the site ask you to register, and if so, is the reason clear to you?

Does the site sell products?

Is the name of the organization or company clearly stated?

Does the site make claims that are supported by scientific evidence?

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Internet-Information-Tips

Build a tool kit

Using the Internet is a fast and convenient way to search for health information. But it's not the only way. When you're looking for information about MS, try to build a tool-kit from which you can choose among several tools for finding information. In addition to using the Internet to find health information, try using the following sources (but remember to be critical!):

The library: Most libraries have a health section where you can find information about medical conditions – their causes, symptoms, treatment options and prevention tips. If you need more detailed information and live close to a university or college, visit their medical library. Most medical libraries contain reputable journals that contain recent studies and articles about current health issues.

The newspaper: Newspapers usually present information about recent studies. Make sure that evidence is well supported with references and is unbiased. Are the pros and cons of a "scientific advance" listed? If you rely on the newspaper when searching for health information, shop around and read several sources. Each newspaper may present a recent medical finding in a different light.

Health magazines: Most magazines offer a general overview of health conditions and medical issues. Make sure that health information takes care of your physical, emotional and mental needs.

Drugstores: Many drugstores have brochures, pamphlets, and even patient videos that contain health information. Usually pharmacists are available to answer questions you might have about any medications you might be taking.

Your doctor and pharmacist: Ask you doctor or pharmacist about information you find in the sources above. They can help you evaluate the source and make sure that the information is relevant to you. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist about information surrounding any medications you are taking.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Internet-Information-Tips

Get the health information you need

Check the expiry date
Find out when the information was posted and if it is updated regularly. Health and medical information should reflect the latest advances and scientific thought on a specific topic.

So what?
Find out the purpose of the website. This should be clearly stated and should help you evaluate the motives of the organization that created the site.

The big sell
If a health or medical website tries to sell you products, their motives may not be completely ethical. Watch out for health websites that sell herbal products and/or medications. All sponsorship, advertising and commercial funding arrangements should be clearly stated and separated from editorial content.

Who's the doctor?
Avoid online physicians or pharmacists that propose to diagnose or treat you without a physical exam and consultation.

That's personal!
Websites sometimes track the paths that visitors take to reach and navigate their site. However some sites also ask you to subscribe or become a member. In some cases they might want to collect a fee or select information for you that's relevant to your concerns. This will give the site personal information about you.

But credible sites will tell you exactly why they are asking for your information, and will offer a policy describing how they will and will not use your information. Make sure that any personal and medical information about you will be strictly confidential. There should be a privacy policy for the site.

No miracle cures
Most importantly, use your common sense when evaluating sites. Be wary of sites that offer a "cure-all" for your condition or symptoms. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And always read the fine print.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Internet-Information-Tips

You're the customer!

Start with the experts
Look for health directories that partner with credible organizations. Reputable organizations are usually the authority on a specific topic. Is your source reliable?

Check the source
When you search a website, find out who produced it. Credible sites will have an "about us" section and a list of medical advisors or an editorial board. There should also be an e-mail address where you can contact the website's organization or company and ask questions. Try to find a site that is associated with a person or organization in which you already have confidence.

Get a second opinion
Remember that websites may be biased towards certain opinions or viewpoints. Look for your information on several websites and in newspapers and magazines until you find a consistent answer. Reputable websites will offer links to other websites to help you find more information. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about information found on health websites.

Where's the evidence?
Health information should be supported by scientific studies and should list both the pros and cons of an issue or medical treatment. Poor sites reflect only one point of view. You should be able to validate the source of information. Authors and contributors should be identified. Don't be afraid to be critical when evaluating information.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Internet-Information-Tips