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According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 80% of adult internet users in the U.S. have searched for health information online. If you work in a library, you have undoubtedly come into contact with many of these "health seekers"- you may even be one yourself.

  • Have you felt overwhelmed trying to make sense of all the health information that can be found on the web?
  • Have you wondered whether the information you are finding is reliable?
  • Or do you just want to become more comfortable with your ability to find and identify trustworthy health information online?

If so, Consumer Health Online is a course you won't want to miss! This course will familiarize you with the tools you need to evaluate health websites, and will provide excellent starting points that will help you gain confidence in your ability to find reliable health information.

Workshop Description: This one day hands-on workshop will provide strategies for finding reliable health information on the web, as well as pointers to trusted health information sites. We will use real world, frequently-asked questions, and answer them by working with bookmarks, a combination of individual and group exercises, discussion and demonstration.

Outcomes: By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the difference between websites with good information vs. those with suspect or bad information.
  2. Identify five major sources of government health information.
  3. Identify side effects and drug interactions from both drug information sites and pharmaceutical (.com) sites.
  4. Develop strategies for finding reliable health information on the Internet.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Information on Specific Disease/Illness and Health Assessment
    • Background information (dictionaries, handbooks, associations)
    • Detailed information on disease/illness
    • Government information
    • Calculators for risk assessment, health evaluation
  • Searching for and Evaluating Online Health Information
    • Searching and browsing using specialized health search tools and subject directories
    • Evaluation checklists & online evaluation tools
  • Therapies
    • Drug side effects & interactions
    • Alternative & complementary medicine resources
    • Nutrition & weight control
    • Identifying fraud
  • Targeted Health Information
    • Ethnic groups
    • Age groups
    • Sensitive topics (mental health, AIDS/HIV, genetic diseases)
    • Choosing the "best" doctors & hospitals
    • Support groups

Workshop Instructor: Bette Anton