POPULAR PATIENT EDUCATION CONTENT SITES
The patient education content at the Family Doctor Web site is written and reviewed by physicians and patient education professionals at the American Academy of Family Physicians. Content is available in both English and Spanish and covers a wide variety of topics.
Conditions A-Z homepage
Women's Health homepage
Men's Health homepage
Kids' Health homepage
Seniors' Health homepage
Information and advice for patients on a range of topics, from healthy eating to addictions to vaccines.
Smart Patient Guide
Concise and well-organized information on numerous topics for patients such as managing their healthcare, understanding health insurance and end-of-life issues.
A useful guide to Over-the-Counter Medicines
Drug Information (search for information on devices, procedures, prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs)
Dictionary (of medical and health terms)
WebMD provides quality, comprehensive health resources for consumers, physicians, nurses, and educators. The site includes news, chat forums, health quizzes and consumer product updates, as well as an online Personal Health Record accessible by authorized providers and approved by some health plans. Accredited by both Health on the Net (HON) and the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission's (URAC), webMD is the patient education side of Medscape.
The Mayo Clinic serves up clear and accurate information in useful categories: diseases and conditions, drugs and supplements, treatment decisions, and healthy living. The site has a particularly useful "Drugs and Supplements" area [ http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DrugHerbIndex ] that allows users to search or browse alphabetically for prescription and OTC drugs in the Micromedex database, and herbs and supplements in the Natural Standard database. (www.naturalstandard.com). A variety of calculators, self-assessments and easy-to-understand treatment decision guides are available for common ailments and injuries. Prominent links allow users with poor eyesight or presbyopia to increase the type size with a click. Editors of this HON-accredited site include more than 2,000 physicians, scientists, writers, and educators at the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit with over 100 years experience in patient care, medical research, and education.
American Heart Association
This content is on-target and in plain English. A variety of monthly newsletters offer the latest news and advice on all aspects of heart health, including heart attack, cholesterol, blood pressure, arrhythmia, peripheral artery disease, healthy diets and much more. Heart Profilers is a confidential online heart treatment decision tool that allows users to input personal information and receive a report reviewing treatment options, possible side effects, success rates and questions to ask the doctor. Links to medical journal articles and research studies written in an easy-to-understand format are also provided. Do note that the site does feature many context-driven pharmaceutical advertisements.
The New York Times Health Guide
The New York Times offers a comprehensive online compendium of medical topics, including thousands of in-depth articles on diseases, conditions, tests, symptoms, injuries and surgeries. Frequently updated, this reference is reviewed by doctors, medical writers and editors. Within the guide are extensive links to The Times's archive of news and features. The Times Guide also includes articles by reporters for The New York Times highlighting the latest news on the most common diseases and conditions.
PRIMED Patient Education Center
PRIMED Patient Education Center provides health information written by Harvard Medical School and targeted to consumers. Of particular note are the many excellent, accessible brochures that educate about common diseases and conditions. These are readily available via clear navigation and are offered in any easily downloadable and printable PDF format. PRIMED Patient Education Center also offers glossaries, links to other resources and interactive tools for patients to assess their knowledge and risk. The site does include advertisments for pharmaceuticals.
Guiding You Maternity Services is your first stop for education, classes, a virtual tour, pre-registration and more! The E-book, Great Expectations, written by physicians and nurses, contains solid and easily understandable answers to all of your pregnancy related questions.
The American Academy of Family Physicians website www.aafp.org contains a series of articles about changes in your body during the First, Second, and Third trimesters. Exercise, eating, sleeping and sex are other topics covered on this patient friendly site.
Medline Plus, a service of the National Institutes of Health, provides relevant and timely content on issues facing today’s pregnant woman. Links on the page connect you to the pregnancy websites for the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
This comprehensive forum for patient education covers the span of pregnancy related questions, from morning sickness to pain relief during labor to breastfeeding. Patient handouts can be downloaded and saved in PDF format for later reference.
This site is a 2006 Webby People's Voice Award winner. While rather more openly commercial than some other health information Web sites, this site offers very good tools and useful information on pregnancy, birthing and parenting in an engaging "pop culture" format and style.
PARENTS AND KIDS
KidsHealth provides doctor-approved, age-appropriate health information for parents, kids and teens. Created by The Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media, KidsHealth provides families with culturally relevant, accurate, up-to-date, and jargon-free health information, in English and Spanish.
Focus on the Family
Helping families thrive with articles on parenting, marriage, life challenges, faith and social issues, Focus on the Family is a Christian organization with a heart for parents and children. Download their free Family Resource of the Month, listen to daily radio broadcasts or seek support at their Family Help Center.
Moms of Preschoolers
MOPS is an international support network of women who share the common bond of preschool aged children, from birth to kindgergarten. Their on-line magazine, Hello Darling, offers tips and discussion about parenting, marriage, health and just being a mother. They can help you find a MOPS group of like minded women in your area for support and encouragement.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Of particular note are the easy-to-read publications, many offered in a simple and direct "What I need to know..." FAQ-style format available as Web pages or printable PDF documents. Topics include diabetes, hepatitis, colon polyps, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, kidney stones, urinary tract infections and prostate problems, among many others.
NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) offers information on dietary supplements, alternative treatments and therapies, as well as fact sheets on the basics of complementary, alternative and integrative approaches. Also available in Spanish.
WholeHealthMD was developed by a team of board- certified doctors and CAM specialists who practiced in integrative medicine centers previously operated by American WholeHealth. These doctors worked with chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbal medicine advisors, nutritionists, and massage therapists to provide integrative health care solutions using a patient-centered approach to wellness. Users can browse via "Healing Centers" to find quite specific, actionable information on a variety of supplements and integrative practices-- including WholeHealthMD doctors' recommendations for specific vitamins, herbs, and nutritional supplements --with dosages, how-to take instructions, and other tips. A healthful diet is emphasized in the "Healing Kitchen".
ONLINE SUPPORT COMMUNITIES
DailyStrength is a commercial Web site that offers free, robust and active online support communities for over 500 conditions, including depression, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, diabetes and even dieting. Members can share inspirational stories, advice, treatment experiences and even email "cyber hugs" to other members. The site is supported by Google Ads and, like most other public forum sites, search engines, retailers and credit card companies, does collect and store personal information.
NIH's Medline Plus
The interactive health education tutorials at Medline Plus provide access to the Patient Education Institute’s "X-Plain" library of Flash 6 animations to educate patients about the most common procedures, diseases and conditions, all in easy-to-understand language and graphics. A complementary quiz function can be enabled or disabled. Also available in Spanish.
This site is published by the not-for-profit Immunization Action Coalition and provides comprehensive, easy-to-understand vaccination information and mandates in English and Spanish. Prominent links on the home page address public concerns about vaccine safety.
Looking to find other reliable health information resources on the Web?
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health provides an excellent, up-to-date, accurate and extremely well-organized patient health information "online catalog". Visitors may choose a variety of ways to browse and search for information on diseases, conditions and symptoms. Simple list type navigation reduces distractions. This Web site is a great place to quickly find links to disease-specific topics at a variety of authoritative Web sites elsewhere on the 'Net.
Web leader Google offers a new option for identifying useful health information on the Internet. Google has teamed with health Web site accreditation organization HON (see below) to include "reliability" as one of the indices that ranks health information pages. The best results are displayed in a simple interface that allows users to search only among health sites and to quickly drill down to specific topics.
Resources to help patients evaluate online health information
An easy and quick guide at the AAFP's familydoctor.org
The Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web
LAB TEST INFORMATION
Lab Tests Online
Peer-reviewed, non-commercial, patient-centered information on a huge variety of clinical laboratory tests that is browse-able by tests, conditions/diseases and life stage screening. Provided in English, Spanish, German and Polish with several other languages in development.