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Health Information on the Internet— Is it reliable?

More and more people seek information from the ever increasing number of resources on the internet. This includes health and medical information. These tools can be very helpful, informative, and empowering. They can also be confusing, misleading or even dangerous. How does a person know what to trust on the internet?

Here are a few things to consider when reading about health:

Authorship.  Who wrote the article or blog? Does the person have credentials? If sponsored by an organization, is it a reputable one? Learn about the authorship. You can always google the author or organization.

Documentation.  Is the information backed up by references to studies, citations by known experts, etc?

Audience.  Who was the intended audience? Even professional journals may have a bias. For example, a journal for surgeons may elaborate on surgical approaches to a health problem but gloss over or simply not address non-surgical options.

Motivation.  Is the author hoping to sell you something? Is so, their product might be an excellent one, or then again….? Or does the blogger have their own personal undisclosed agenda?

Up-to-Date or Out-of-Date?   Medical advances are happening very fast in some areas of health, less so in others. When was the information posted? When was the article written?

For more info on how to evaluate health resources online check out these websites:

http://www.mlanet.org/resources/userguide.html   (Medical Library Association)

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/johns_hopkins_bayview/_docs/patient_visitor_amenities/libraries/reliable_health_information_fall_2015.pdf   (Johns Hopkins Medical Center Library)

https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/evaluating_health_information/   (University of California San Francisco)

Here a few of the websites known to be reliable for health and medical information:

medlineplus.gov   (National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health)

familydoctor.org   (The consumer website of the American Academy of Family Physicians)

mayoclinic.org   (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

healthfinder.gov  (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, USDHHS)

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Upcoming Health Events at Immanuel

Esprit — A Support Group for People Recovering from Mental Health Issues

 Our brothers and sisters at Ebenezer Lutheran Church are inviting all interested parties to participate in a support group.

Let’s be honest, life can sometimes feel overwhelming and challenging. We at Ebenezer welcome everyone into our spiritual circle.  We think that most everyone has experienced or supported someone with mental health issues.  We also recognize that we all need a circle of support in our lives.  Ebenezer strives to create a place where all can come, share, listen, learn and be renewed

Meeting the 2nd and 4th Thursday’s of each month!

Group Facilitators:

Ashley Figerio, Certified Mental Health First Aid, USA; Experienced Mental Health Group Facilitator

Vikki Ward Martin, MA, MDiv; Certified Mental Health First Aid, USA; Family to Family National Alliance on Mental Illness

For more information , please call Ashley at 773-428-1521 

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