August 22, 2006

Article of Interest – Relationship of Internet Health Information Use With Patient Behavior and Self-Efficacy: Experiences of Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patients Who Contact the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service

Posted in Articles of Interest, Consumer Health at 9:26 am by Alexia

A study recently published in the Journal of Health Communication shows that a new cancer diagnosis affects how a person uses the internet for health information.  Combine the results of this study to one done by Ruti Volk, librarian at the Cancer Center’s Patient Education Resource Center consumer health librarians have tangible proof stating what we librarians already new – librarians are the experts at information retreival.

The PEW Internet & American Life Project has a lot of information on Internet usage, including health information.  NLM has gone a long way in gathering reliable health information through but I believe there is more we can do.  A few years ago the library at my hospital offered classes on locating and evaluating health information on the Internet.  They were not well attended apparently (I was not employed here at that time) but I’m wondering if partnering with a public library to offer such a course would be a better option.

I also believe NLM and/or MLA should consider television advertising Medlineplus.  We’ve all seen add for WebMD, and just recently I saw an ad for a drug that at the end of the commercial directed views to go to their “unbiased” web site for health information.  Our profession needs to play with the big boys if we are to “prove” we are the best resource for finding, evaluating and disemminating information.  We cannot do this in small numbers.  Let’s take a page out of the “Got milk?”, “Pork, the other white meat”, and “Happy cows make good cheese” campaigns – let’s encourage MLA to go beyond Medspeak brochures and advertise where people are actually going to see it – on television.


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