HOW TO USE THE INTERNET TO FIND ACCURATE INFORMATION

HOW TO USE THE INTERNET TO FIND ACCURATE INFORMATION

The internet can be a great source of information about medical conditions. However, it can also have inaccurate advice and be trying to sell you something. So what do you look for?

Firstly look for sites that end with .edu, .gov or .org. These are usually sites that do not have a commercial interest involved, that is they are not trying to sell you something. These sites will be linked to the government, an educational organisation such as a university or an organisation with a particular interest in the condition.

Examples of these are include the NSW Government website http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/public/Pages/default.aspx, the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network https://www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au and Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au. These sites sometimes have links to other reputable sites.

If you are looking for a specific condition there may be a society or group set up to provide information and support about the condition. An example would be Alzheimer’s Australia https://www.fightdementia.org.au. So put the condition into your search engine and look for the sites ending in .gov, .org or .edu as above.

Some .com sites also provide reliable information but it may be more difficult for you to determine if they are motivated to provide good advice or if they are just trying to sell you something or are providing inaccurate information.

There are some sites that are portals to links to other sites with reputable information such as Healthy Western Sydney: http://healthywesternsydney.org.au. You can search for reputable sites by using the search engine on this site.

With the huge amount of information available on the internet it can be challenging to find accurate advice, please ask your doctor or nurse if you need assistance.