Health & Wellness Websites

qualification-752049_640.jpgANYONE 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.

General Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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)

small yellow star.jpgMEDLINEplus
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

MedScape Reference
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.

Alternative Medicine

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

Caregiver Resources

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

CFS & Fibromyalgia

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

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

Clinical Trials
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

Dental Health

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

Diagnostic Medical Test Resources

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

Doctor and Hospital Information

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

Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholics Anonymous
"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

Drug & Pharmacy Resources

Micromedex Health Care Series 
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

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)

Heart Health

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

ECG Library
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

Hoaxes & Rumors 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" Medical-Related Urban Legends
Source for medical-related urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation

Kid's Sites

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)

BrainPOP: Health
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

Information Connections
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

Low Literacy (Easy-to-Read)

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"

Senior Health

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.

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

Theater Resources on the Web

Accents / Dialects

American English Dialect Recordings
Speech Accent Archive
The Village Voice OBIE Awards


American Theatre Wing - Theatre References - Theatre Awards
Tony Awards Online
The Village Voice OBIE Awards


Cornell Costume and Textile Collection
Costume Gallery
Couturière Parisienne
Elizabethan Costume Page
Fashion History Costume Trends and Eras, Trends Victorians - Haute Couture
Gentleman's Page
Godey's Lady's Book
History of Costume by Braun & Scheider
Metropolitan Museum of Art - The Collection Online: The Costume Institute
AllSewn Up: Millinery, Dressmaking, Clothing and Costume
Books from 1907-1940 include the history of clothing, styles, of dress, and design and construction.
Motley Collection of Theatre & Costume Design
NYPL Picture Collection Online
OSU Historic Costume & Textiles Collection
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Has had several fashion exhibits.
Screen Search Fashion
Film fashions from the 20's and 30's.
Stage Costume, the Victoria and Albert Museum
Cornell Costume and Textile Collection
Vintage Couture from the Henry Ford Museum


McCoy's Guide to Theatre and Performance Studies
UW Libraries - Drama
WWW Virtual Library: Theatre and Drama


American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920
CESAR - Calendrier Electronique des Spectacles sous l'Ancien Régime
French Theatre
The New Deal Stage: Selections from the Federal Theatre Project Collection- 1935-1939
Internet Broadway Database
IBDB provides detailed records on Broadway shows, including original production information, original and current cast lists, awards, and songs.
Lortel Archives: The Internet Off-Broadway Database
Production history for off-Broadway shows.
Performing Arts in America 1875 -1923
Theatre History on the Web


Great Performances
Performing Arts Encyclopedia
From the National Theatre, London.

News and Reviews

New York Times Theatre Reviews


Dramatists Play Service
Iowa State University Play Concordances
Lortel Archives--The Internet Off-Broadway Database
Samuel French, Inc. The House of Plays & Musical Plays for Over 175 Years
Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online

Playwrights An Electronic Eugene O'Neill Archive
Gilbert and Sullivan Archive

Set Design

Joseph Urban Stage Design Models & Documents
Milwaukee Repertory Theater Photographic History
Mordecai (Max) Gorelik Papers
Over 800 scene designs by Broadway designer Mordecai Gorelik. The collection and additional papers are housed at the Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Scenery Collection: University of Minnesota Libraries


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Illustrated Shakespeare Collection
Internet Shakespeare Editions
Shakespeare's Staging
Shakespearean Prompt-Books of the Seventeenth Century

Evaluating Websites

How do you evaluate information found on the Web?

One way is to ask questions about who, what, when, where and why the resource was created.

evaluating a webpage

The CRAP Test (Currency, Reliability, Authority, Purpose) is an acronym that represents criteria that can be used in evaluating websites. Web domain names can also provide additional clues to the credibility of sources.

Remember, these questions are guidelines for determining if a resource is credible. Not all websites will meet all the criteria for a credible website. Even if a site doesn't meet all criteria, it may still be credible and useful. For example, information on a website might still be credible even if the site hasn't been updated for many months or even years.


How recently was the information published? Is the information current enough for your topic?

Having the most up-to-date information is particularly important if your topic is, for example, Health or Science-related. However, date of publication is not as critical for many topics, such as History or Fine Arts. Ultimately, you must make this decision based upon your research needs.

When was the website last updated?

Website update information can often be found at the bottom of the web page.
Depending on the topic, some websites don't need to be updated as frequently as other sites that are more dependent on current information, such as Health or Science-related websites.


Does the information creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?

The credibility of a resource is greatly enhanced if the author provides evidence of where they're getting their source information. This evidence can be cited as a footnote, or listed in a bibliography or list of resources, which is typically found at the bottom of an article or webpage.

Is the information accurate? Can you independently verify the accuracy of the information from another source?

To determine if the information is accurate, do an online search or consult a reference resource such as an encyclopedia to verify the accuracy of the information. Encyclopedias and other reference works are available through the Library's databases and print collection. Note: Multiple websites might post the same information using your original website as the source. Try to locate an independent, third-party website, database or print resource that corroborates the information listed in the article or website that you're citing.


Who is the author or creator?

The name of the author or party responsible for the information is usually located near the title of the article (byline) or near the bottom of the webpage. Occasionally the article or website will not list the name of the author, but rather the organization responsible for producing the information.

What are the author’s credentials? Are they an expert in the field, or, a journalist from a reputable publication?

The author's credentials indicate if the person has had the necessary training to offer an expert opinion on the topic. For example, research conducted by professors, teachers, those who hold advanced degrees and other professionals who work in the field of study are generally considered to be credible. Although not necessarily experts in a particular field, journalists who work for major news outlets may also be considered credible.

To learn more about an author or organization, do an online search of the name in quotation marks. For example, in doing a search for "Jill Lepore" you will find that she is a Professor of American History at Harvard University. This is the first result from the search. Since the website's domain name (the ".edu" part) is from an educational organization, the odds that the website is legitimate are very high. For more information on Domain Names, see below.

Who is the publisher or sponsor of the publication / website? Are they reputable?

Do an online search for the name of the publisher or sponsor of the publication using quotations. For example, doing a search for the "Plastics Industry Trade Association" will take you to the Society of the Plastics Industry: SPI, whose purpose is to promote growth in the U.S. plastics industry. While this is a reputable organization, it does have a vested interest in promoting specific commercial activities. Be alert for motives and biases, particularly for information coming from .COM, .NET and .ORG websites. For more information on Domain Names, click here

Purpose/Point of View

Is the resource based on facts or opinions?

Resources that use facts that are supported by evidence cited in the work are generally considered to be more credible than opinion-based resources. However, depending on your project, opinion pieces can be useful.

If the resource is opinion-based, is it balanced? Are multiple perspectives presented?

As the old saying goes, there are two sides to every story. A well-balanced resource will include multiple perspectives, offering arguments and counter-arguments.

Is the resource biased? Is the author trying to sway your opinion?

Most resources will have a bias. Biases can be "direct", meaning that the bias is clearly stated as a way to persuade the reader to agree with their position. Biases can also be "indirect," by including information that supports their position, and excluding information that does not support the position. It is important to try to identify the author's position so you can use this information in an informed manner.

Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

There is no shortage of commercial interests trying to sell their wares on the Internet. Sometimes marketeers will cloak sales pitches in the form of a story, essay or news article.

Website Domain Names

Website domain names are the end part of the URL that falls after the "." in a web address. For example, the ".COM" in CNN.COM.

Below are the five common top-level domain names and their general purpose:

  • .COM – Commercial
  • .EDU – Educational institutions
  • .GOV – Government agencies
  • .NET – General purpose
  • .ORG - Organizations

The website domain name can provide insights to why the information is being made available. For example, someone posting information on a “.COM” website might, but not necessarily, be trying to sell you something. Use the CRAP Test and your critical thinking skills to decide if the information you’re assessing is credible and appropriate for your research needs.

Subscribe to websites