Going on a health click!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Posted by Abby

There is a vast number of health-related websites which we can turn to for information and advice, but knowing where to start and how to avoid mumbo jumbo and quackery is often a concern.

This top 10 was compiled by Dr Mark Porter, a medical doctor who has been practicing for over 25 years and often appears in the UK media, and is a good starting place if you’re looking for advice.

If you have a favourite source of information or advice, leave details in the comment section so we can all build up a library that we can all use.

The National Library for Health brings together UK-based health information. It includes a “For Patients” section which contains details of over 100 website which have been quality-checked by the NHS Direct (see below) team. It also allows you to build a library of information which is especially helpful if you are trying to do in-depth research into a particular subject. Finally, I really like its “Behind the Headlines” section which aims to provide the public and health professionals with an unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that make the news

NHS Direct is the place to go for advice on self-management of minor illnesses. It has an interactive question-based tool to help you identify the most appropriate course of action, which could of course be a trip to your Doctor. It will also enable you to identify your nearest health service and respond to queries about particular health conditions and treatments.

This website contains thousands of first-hand patient experiences and works on the principle that a problems shared if often a problem halved. It covers subjects ranging from cancers, heart disease, mental health and neurological conditions to screening programmes, pregnancy, teenage health and chronic illnesses. There is also a forums section where you can ask and answer questions.

As Mark says, “this is a blokeish website for blokeish problems” which is run by the charity Men’s Health Forum.

Accredited by NHS Direct, this is the website to visit if you want to know anything about particular types of cancer and their treatment. It also provides information about current clinical trials.

This site aims to give down to earth advice about the various trials and tribulations associated with being a teenager. It includes a virtual surgery with Doctor Ann who happily answers the most embarrassing and squeamish questions imaginable.

Clinical Knowledge Summaries (formerly kown as PRODIGY) provides evidence-based guidance for treating a range of conditions. It is designed for use by both health professionals and the public.

MIND is a fabulous resource if you want to learn more about mental health issues, providing a comprehensive range of fact sheets and information about health services in your area.

FRANK provides advice about illegal drugs. As well as providing a comprehensive A-Z of drugs there is advice for friends and families, information about people’s personal experiences and the ability to have specific questions responded to via the anonymous FRANK email or phone line.

This is the one non-UK site on my list. It is a giant health portal and is a good one –stop shop. It includes an A-Z of tests which helps you understand what to expect before you set foot in the surgery

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This Post was written by abby from eat the right stuff.


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