You can find a vast amount of health information online. A quick search for a condition can bring up thousands of results. So how can you determine which websites are the most trustworthy?
NHS Choices have some good advice about using the internet when looking up health information….
When looking for advice on specific conditions, look for well-known organisations and charities, such as NHS Choices, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society or MIND. Look for sites which end in .org (not-for-profit organisations) or .gov (government run).
NHS Choices, for example, has been certified as a producer of reliable health and social care information by The Information Standard, which is a certification scheme to help people decide which information is trustworthy.
Further advice can be accessed on the NHS Choices website here.
NHS Choices was launched in 2007 and is the official website of the National Health Service in England. The website is designed for use by everyone engaging with the NHS and social care including professionals.
The website provides comprehensive health information along with thousands of articles, videos and tools, helping you to make the best choices about your health and lifestyle, but also about making the most of NHS and social care services in England.
The site also has service directories to help you find, choose and compare health, support and social care services in England. They also publish reviews and ratings across health and social care services.
NHS Choices also publishes daily analysis of health-related stories that make the news.
Social media is an important part of the NHS Choices service, reaching up to 3 million people a month via Facebook, Twitter and video channels such as YouTube.
To find out more, visit the NHS Choices website here
Patient is the web’s leading independent health platform, established for over 15 years. With more than 18 million visits a month, it is a trusted source of information for both patients and health professionals across the globe.
The site contains over 4000 health information leaflets, a wellbeing centre, a free health check, and thousands of discussion forums. It is accredited by The Information Standard, NHS England’s quality mark and was listed as ‘The top health website you can’t live without’ by The Times newspaper (Jan 2013).
Visit the Patient website here
Use the Patient symptom checker here