Dr. Cox writes:
nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/evaluatinghealthinformation.html which includes a tutorial on accessing and evaluating information on the web. There are some questions you should ask yourself any time you evaluate a site:
1. Who sponsors the website? Going to a trusted organization is a good way to access good reliable information such as the federal government (nih.gov), an academic institution (Dartmouth University), or a nationally recognized society (American Cancer Society).
2. Who wrote the information? Does the site have an editorial board or a panel of experts who wrote and reviewed the information? Does it reference other national sites or recently published peer reviewed articles in well-known medical journals or site obscure references and individuals' experiences?
3. Is the information recent? The time medical information is relevant shortens daily, make sure you check several up-to-date sites.
5. The site makes claims that seem too good to be true; chances they are? Be sure to check several sites. Seeing confirming information on several trusted sites should give you comfort that the information you are seeing is probably reliable.
6. Make sure to check information with your physician. Chances are your physician might be able to direct you to reliable sites for information on specific conditions. They will also help you sort through the information you obtain to make sense of it for you.
Via Andrew Spong, Bart Collet