ANYONE can put information on the Internet. As a health care consumer, health care student, or practicing health care professional, you must carefully select and evaluate health information before using it to treat yourself, your patients or letting it influence how you live your life or perform your professional duties. Use your critical thinking skills and the evaluating sources section of this resource guide to help you determine the credibility of Web sites. A great test is to ask yourself, "Would I want myself or someone that I care deeply about to be treated based on this information?" If the answer is "no," don't change your lifestyle or recommend that anyone else does either until a health care professional has been consulted and the information has been applied to a person's specific medical case. Also, don't include non-credible information in health-care related academic projects either!
Below are some helpful consumer health resources selected by College of Dupage Library's Health Science Librarian. The College of DuPage and the C.O.D. Library do not create or control any of these resources, and they will not be held responsible for misuse of information or any adverse effects of recommendations stated in these resources. Health Information should always be discussed with your health care provider, who can interpret it for you and apply it to your individual case.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC.gov provides users with credible, reliable health information on topics such as: data and statistics; diseases and conditions; emergencies and disasters; environmental health; healthy living; injury, violence and safety; life stages and populations; travelers' health; workplace safety and health; and much more. This site contains information appropriate for adults, teens and kids
DuPage County Health Department
The DuPage County Health Department promotes physical and emotional health; prevents illness and disability; protects health from environmental risk factors; and strives to assure the provision of accessible, quality services. Web site topics include: asthma, depression, bioterrorism, consumer services, dental services, DuPage safe food site, environmental health services, mental health services and men's and women's health sites
Easy-to-understand information on health and medical topics, all reviewed for accuracy by Mayo Clinic experts. Content includes interactive resources and tools, information on specific diseases and disorders, management of particular chronic conditions, suggestions for healthy lifestyles, consumer drug information, first aid, specialists' answers to frequently asked questions about diseases and health decision-making guides. (A service of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Provides access to 900+ health topics, medical encyclopedias and dictionaries, and links to self-help groups, clinical trials, preformulated PubMed searches, lists of hospitals and physicians health and information in Spanish and other languages. Includes listings of diseases & conditions by body system
An online clinical reference providing in-depth drug & disease information and tools to support clinical decision making. Content is designed for practicing medical professionals and includes diagnostic medical images. Free Registration to MedScape is required. To go straight to an entry in this resource, try Googling the word emedicine and your disease/condition (i.e. emedicine influenza).
Merck Manuals: Consumer Version
A consumer (patient) level medical reference work published by the American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. that covers a wide range of medical topics, including disorders, tests, diagnoses, and drugs. A professional version is also available.
Medline Plus: Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CAM)
The National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health provide a well-organized, annotated list of credible complementary and Integrative Medicine articles and Websites for consumers
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. NCCIH was formerly known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
THE NCCAOM is a nonprofit organization whose mission is "to assure the safety and well-being of the public and to advance the professional practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine by establishing and promoting national evidence-based standards of competence and credentialing"
American Cancer Society
Dedicated to helping persons who face cancer. Supports research, patient services, early detection, treatment and education
Patient information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Includes cancer types, treatments, survivorship, advocacy, resources, podcasts, and news
MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine: Cancer
This page can be accessed by searching the health topic cancer. Categories on this page include: latest news, diagnosis/symptoms, treatment, clinical trials, specific conditions/aspects, overviews, organizations, statistics, specific populations, etc. There are also links to related MEDLINEplus pages as well as a preformulated MEDLINE search retrieving recent article citations from the medical literature. Click here for an Index page to MedlinePlus' specific cancer type pages
National Cancer Institute
Learn about all aspects of cancer from this comprehensive site maintained by the U.S. National Institutes of Health
The COD Library has developed an extensive Guide to Caregiver Resources. This guide contains search tips and suggestions for accessing resources available through: the College of DuPage Library; local community and government resources; and national organizations committed to supporting caregivers and families
CDC - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Offers information about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and its diagnosis and treatment
MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine
Search for the health topics: fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Health topic page categories include: the latest news, overviews, coping; research, specific conditions/aspects, law and policy, organizations, statistics and specific populations
National Fibromyalgia Association
The NFA is involved in research, consumer education and support, lobbying efforts, and continuing medical education for health care professionals
National Fibromyalgia Partnership, Inc.
The NFP's mission "is to make medically-accurate, quality resource information on fibromyalgia (FM) available to [its] membership, health care professionals, and the community-at-large"
Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI)
Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI) - formerly Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) Association of America - is an American not-for-profit association dedicated to ending Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). SMCI was founded in 1987 and is the longest standing organization serving ME/CFS patients and researchers. Their mission is to make ME/CFS understood, diagnosable and treatable
CenterWatch Clinical Trials
Lists over 41,000 industry- and government-sponsored clinical trials and includes new drug therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Designed for patients and research professionals
Provides patients and the public easy access to information about the location of clinical trials, their design and purpose, criteria for participation, and additional disease and treatment information. Created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM)
MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine
This topic page arranges clinical trial links into categories and provides a pre-formulated PubMed search for clinical trial research articles
Academy of General Dentistry
Helps consumers make informed decisions about their dental care and treatment options
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Access excellent dental information specific to infants, children, and adolescents
American Dental Association
Contains a wide-range of educational resources for health consumers including information about ADA seal products
American Dental Hygienists' Association
Contains educational resources for health consumers including kids
CDC Oral Health Resources
The CDC promotes prevention and oral health and wellness through education and research
MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine
Search for the following dental health-related topics: dental health, child dental health, gum disease, smokeless tobacco, oral cancer, salivary gland disorders, cleft lip and palate, or general mouth disorders
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
NIDCR's mission is to improve oral, dental and craniofacial health through research, research training, and the dissemination of health information
For more Dental information, go to the Dental Hygiene Resource Guide
Lab Tests Online
Designed to help the patient or caregiver better understand that many clinical lab tests are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases. The site is a collaboration of professional societies representing the lab community
Merck Manual: Common Medical Tests
Provides the normal test result ranges for blood tests as well as a chart of diagnostic procedures, body area tested and descriptions
America's Best Hospitals
U.S. News and World Report ranks the top medical centers
American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is an organization of 24 approved medical specialty boards. The intent of the certification of physicians is to provide assurance to the public that those certified by an ABMS Member Board have successfully completed an approved training program and an evaluation process assessing their ability to provide quality patient care in the specialty
AMA Physician Select: Online Doctor Finder
The American Medical Association Physician Select database provides basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States and its possessions, including more than 690,000 doctors of medicine (MD) and doctors of osteopathy or osteopathic medicine (DO)
Illinois Hospital Report Card
Access information about the volume, cost and quality of health care provided in Illinois medical facilities
MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine Directories
Arranges directory links into categories including physicians, specialists, hospitals, services, and facilities
Physician Profile Search: Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
Search by Physician name to access information profiles on all physicians currently licensed in the State of Illinois. Includes license information, disciplinary and legal actions, primary office locations, hospital affiliations, board certifications, medical school and post graduate education and more
"Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem"
Al-Anon Family Groups
"Friends and families of problem drinkers find understanding and support at Al-Anon and Alateen meetings"
Center on Addiction
"The nation’s leading science-based nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming how the nation addresses addiction. We are empowering families to support loved ones, advancing effective addiction care, and shaping public policies that prevent and treat addiction as a public health issue."
MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine: Substance Abuse Problems Topics
Select from an extensive list of topics such as: drug abuse, alcoholism, prescription drug abuse, club drugs, etc. Categories on individual health pages include: latest news, diagnosis/symptoms, treatment, clinical trials, specific conditions/aspects, overviews, organizations, statistics, specific populations, etc. They also link to related MEDLINEplus pages as well as a preformulated MEDLINE searches retrieving recent article citations from the medical literature
National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)
The Association for Addiction Professionals, is the largest membership organization serving addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment and education
National Association of Children of Alcoholics (NACoA)
A national nonprofit membership organization advocating for all children and families affected by alcoholism and other drug dependencies
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NIDA's mission is to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA's mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness
Go to the Addictions &Substance Abuse Guide for more information and resources
MICROMEDEX Healthcare Series provides full-text information supporting clinical care decisions including: drug monographs and evaluations, drug dosages and interactions, drug product identification, reproductive risks, toxicity management, alternative medicine/herbal preparations information, acute/emergency care guidelines, drug, disease and condition information for patients, laboratory test information, dosage calculators, nomograms, and references
CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service
Includes information on new drug therapies in research and those recently approved by the FDA
Maintained by the National Library of Medicine, this site provides high quality drug information including FDA approved labels (package inserts). It is designed to supply health information providers and the public with a standard, comprehensive, up-to-date, look-up and download resource of medication content and labeling as found in medication package inserts
A drug information database for consumers and medical professionals, providing information about prescription and over-the-counter medications, treatment notes for specific diseases and conditions, and topical articles and news related to pharmaceuticals
MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine
Information on thousands of prescription and over-the-counter medications provided through two drug resources -- MedMaster, a product of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and the USP DI Advice for the Patient, a product of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP)
The Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) is a commonly used reference tool for information on prescription drugs. While the Web version of the full PDR is available only to licensed health care professionals, the site does provide free drug information summaries.
RxList - The Internet Drug Index
Contains a database of approximately 5,000 product names that is updated regularly including professional monographs derived from FDA approved labeling and patient-oriented monographs
Easy-to-read information on more than 800 drugs sponsored by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association aims to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The website offers a wealth of information for heart patients and their families
Blaufuss Multimedia Heart Sounds and Cardiac Arrhythmias
Explore heart sounds, cardiac arrhythmias, and electrocardiograms with these free, interactive audio/visual tutorials
An electrocardiogram (ECG / EKG) is an electrical recording of the heart and is used in the investigation of heart disease. This library is a collection of realistic looking recordings which will help improve ECG reading skills
About.com: Urban Legends
Internet hoaxes, rumors, urban legends, and urban myths deconstructed
"Quackwatch, Inc., a member of Consumer Federation of America, is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies"
Snopes.com: Medical-Related Urban Legends
Source for medical-related urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation
BAM! Body and Mind
Contains a variety of information and resources for teachers of grades 4-8 to use in the classroom and help students make healthier lifestyle choices. Created by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Bandaids & Blackboards
Includes sections of adult, child, and teen content regarding growing up with medical conditions
Children and parents will delight in watching these fun, educational movies. Some content is free, some requires a subscription (Flash plug-in required)
Candlelighters--Childhood Cancer family Alliance
Support for children, parents, family and medical professionals dealing with childhood cancers
Children with Diabetes
An on-line community for kids, families and adults with diabetes
From the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), offers health advice for parents and caregivers as well as interactive tools
From the Marianjoy Medical Library, this site supports parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases. Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Down Syndrome, and Traumatic Brain Injury resources are covered in-depth
Created by The Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media, this site offers families accurate, up-to-date, easy-to-understand health information. It has separate content areas for kids, teens, and parents written in an age-specific style
The American Academy of Dermatology has created this unique Web site for kids. Skin, hair and nail information is provided.
Sleep for Kids
From the National Sleep Foundation, teaches kids the importance of sleep
Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Timely and easy-to-read articles on a wide variety of topics geared for many types of consumers
HealthReach is a national collaborative partnership that has created a resource of quality multilingual, multicultural public health information for those working with or providing care to individuals with limited English proficiency
Healthy Roads Media
This site contains some free health education materials in a number of languages and a variety of formats (handouts, audio and streaming web-videos)
MedlinePlus: Easy-To-Read Materials
Easy-to-read documents written for individuals with low literacy skills. Available in Spanish and English
MedlinePlus: Videos & Tools
Health videos on topics such as anatomy and body systems, surgical procedures and health news. Interactive tutorials and games, health calculators and quizzes
National Institute of Mental Health Easy-To-Read Publications
NIMH resources in both English and Spanish versions on a variety of mental health topics
Pfizer: Health Literacy
Health literacy is how a patient can understand and act on health information. Information for patients, families, researchers and health professionals
Picture Stories for Adult ESL Health Literacy
Posted by the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA), this site's content is "useful for beginner and low-literacy students. Newcomers to the United States and adults with lower literacy tend to have the least awareness of and access to health care services, thereby running the risk of more serious and chronic health outcomes. Words are kept to a minimum in the stories to give just enough information to convey an idea without becoming too distracting for students with very low literacy"
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
With over 100,000 members, the Academy is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. It serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics : Home Food Safety
Food safety tips for consumers (some resources are available in Spanish)
COD Library's Nutrition Research Guide
Nutrition-related resources (print, electronic and Internet resources) from the College of Dupage Library's Natural Science Librarian
Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) fact sheets
Provides "a current overview of individual vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements. ODS has fact sheets in two versions—Health Professional and Consumer. Both versions provide the same types of information but vary in the level of detail. Consumer [fact sheets] are now available in Spanish."
Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC): Consumer Corner
Information about the food and nutrition topics the public most frequently asks about. Much of the information is presented in full-text format
MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine
Search for nutrition-related health topics such as: calcium; child nutrition; cholesterol; dietary fats; dietary fiber; eating disorders; food labeling; infant and toddler nutrition; nutrition for seniors; nutritional support; obesity; vegetarianism; vitamins and minerals; weight loss and dieting; and food, nutrition and metabolism
A gateway to the U.S. government offices' information on nutrition, healthy eating, and physical activity
USDA Food Composition Databases
Use the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference to "find nutrient information on nearly 8,000 foods using this search page. You can now search by food item, group, or list to find the nutrient information for your food items."
World Health Organization (WHO): Nutrition
Provides information on the numerous nutrition activities supervised by WHO including: growth assessment and surveillance, nutrition in development and crisis, country-focused nutrition policies and programs, and reduction of micronutrient malnutrition
Growing Stronger--Strength Training for Older Adults
This strength-training program was developed by experts at Tufts University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The site offers an easy-to-follow interactive exercise program as well as a downloadable booklet with useful charts, exercises and instructions.
Resources on aging to help you and your family members plan for health care, long-term care and retirement.
MedlinePlus--Older Adult Health
From the National Library of Medicine & the National Institutes of Health, this topic page indexes and links to credible consumer health information on Seniors' Health. Additional links to medical encyclopedia articles and related Senior Health topic pages (Senior nutrition and exercise for example) are provided.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
The NIA leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. NIA is the primary Federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer's disease research.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
This site includes news on the latest advances and techniques to details of specific surgical procedures, including how to prepare for surgery, the types of anesthesia used and how long recovery takes. Look for answers to the most frequently asked questions about plastic surgery and statistics, including the average costs of various procedures
MEDLINEplus-National Library of Medicine -- Surgery Health Topic
This topic page arranges surgery-related resources into categories and provides preformulated PubMed searches for surgery-related research articles
OR-Live features live and on-demand Webcasts of breakthrough medical procedures from world renowned medical centers and hospitals. Podcasts as well as live and pre-recorded video streams are available