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Evaluating Online Health Info

The internet provides important health information. Knowing what is accurate, up-to-date and trustworthy is an important part of being a healthcare consumer.

Tips for internet searching

Start your search at a reliable Canadian-based health information site such as:

Public Health Agency of Canada

  1. Ask your healthcare provider for trustworthy websites and about the health information you find on websites.
  2. Use the resource links on these sites to find more information on your health topic.
  3. Look for government, hospital, medical organizations or other non-profit educational websites (e.g. the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada).
  4. Check to see if the source is Canadian. Information from another country may not reflect how services are provided in BC.
  5. Check to see if the information is current (less than three years old).
  6. Trust your instincts about the health information you find on websites. If it doesn't seem reasonable and believable, or if the site is trying to sell you something, then don't use it.
  7. Check to see if the website references research articles in medical journals or other research organizations to back up its health information.
  8. Look for the credentials of the author (i.e. doctor, nurse, psychologist) to make sure the information is written by a health professional.
  9. Check the "About" page of a website. Who or what organization is behind the website? Are they non-profit? Many articles and websites are essentially advertisements for products and services.
  10. Think before you share. Thoroughly research before sharing information sources with others, especially through social media.
SOURCE: Evaluating Online Health Info ( )
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