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Quality of Medical Information on the InterNet

Miracle Cures! This page is dedicated to source reliability issues for cancer related information on the Internet.

Anyone can publish on the Internet and to a large extent information is unregulated - so users should be aware of quality of information issues. Many sites offer high quality information, however there are reports of inaccurate and misleading information on the Internet. There are a number of groups proposing standards, however because of the nature of the Internet these will be difficult to enforce.

If you are a patient you are strongly advised to discuss any information concerns you may have with your doctor.

You may find it useful to assess each information site that you visit. For example:

Who wrote the information ? what are the author(s) experiences / qualifications ?
When was it last updated ? is the information out of date ?
How is it funded ? are there any conflicts of interest ?
What type of information is it?
descriptive or prescriptive ?
always be sceptical of any medical advice on the internet.
discuss your concerns with your doctor.
For medical information: does the site have an editorial board that includes independent medical experts ?
For medical information: how reliable is the evidence that findings are based on ?
Quality of Information Issues
Standards for Health Information on the Internet
Levels of Evidence / Evidence Based Medicine

Quality of Information Issues (7 links)

Standards for Health Information on the Internet (4 links)

Levels of Evidence / Evidence Based Medicine (3 links)

How can you be confident about the scientific soundness of what you read ? It is important to read publications critically, and access the levels of evidence behind the papers findings. In addition, there is a growing amount of medical information on the Internet, much of which is not peer-reviewed.
Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes only; it can not be used in diagnosis or treatment.

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