If you use the Internet for questions about health, you will find a lot of information there. But not all of them are balanced and correct. We help you to recognize reliable information.
One offer alone can never answer all questions. If you want to get information, you should use several sources. Look closely at the information. Important information should be available, such as the name of the author, date, literature references, and information on financing.
Knowledge from the Internet can help you prepare for a doctor’s visit and ask questions. It is no substitute for a consultation with your doctor or other specialist.
Search engines help you search the web. But at the top of the hits are often ads. In addition, less good information can also be found among the first search results. Always look at several hits and websites.
Become suspicious if a great effect is promised without side effects or risks. You should also be cautious if you are advised against scientifically proven procedures or a medical consultation.
These pages provide you with independent and up-to-date information:
Characteristics of good information
Many Internet pages do not only want to inform you, but pursue other interests, which you cannot recognize at first sight.
These points give you an indication of whether an offer is trustworthy:
A good information explains for whom the offer is and what the goal is.
You can easily find out who is responsible for the content. References are among other things under: "Contact, "Imprint" or "About us. Here you should be able to quickly find the name, address and contact options by phone or e-mail.
You will find information about how the website is financed. Sponsors are mentioned.
Good information is free of advertising and brand names.
All texts are up to date. You can recognize this by the date of publication or the last update.
Good information has been worked on by both experts and people affected by the disease. A reference to this is often at the beginning of the text. Contributors are also mentioned in the "imprint called.
The text gives you further Internet sites, literature, self-help organizations or other contact points.
Providers disclose how they produce their information. Instructions on how to proceed can be found in a freely accessible methods paper.
There is a note on the website that the information does not replace a doctor’s visit.
How to tell if information is correct?
There is no magic formula for judging whether information is right or wrong. You should pay attention to the following:
The text is clearly structured and understandable. Technical terms are explained.
The information is balanced and neutral. It describes all currently recommended examination and treatment options with advantages and disadvantages.
Good information gives for the effectiveness understandable numbers and comparisons.
All information on the benefits or risks of an examination or treatment is substantiated by the most reliable scientific sources currently available. The team of authors did not select these randomly, but systematically identified them and evaluated their quality.
Some examinations or treatments can be stressful and have an impact on everyday life. Some have to be paid for by patients themselves. There should be a reference to this.
For some examination and treatment methods there is currently no evidence of efficacy. Individual procedures have not yet been well studied or there are contradictory results. The information mentions these uncertainties.
Good information tells how a disease progresses without treatment.
Become suspicious if information is written in a lurid way, scaring or downplaying. Phrases such as "absolutely ne-beneficial" and "100% effect guarantee" are not credible. You should also be careful when expensive products are advertised or other offers are badmouthed.
What you can do yourself
Before you turn on the computer: Think carefully about what you want to search for. It may help to think a few thoughts in advance and jot down some search terms.
Medical knowledge is not always and for all useful. It can also incriminate. You have a right not to want to know some things. Therefore, consider what you want to find out and what you don’t want to find out with your search.
Complaints can have many causes. The correct diagnosis can’t be figured out with a computer or smartphone alone. Seek medical advice if you have any doubts.
No matter how good a piece of information is or why they sought it out: Talk to your health care provider about your search and the results. Together you can assess them and plan the course of action for you if necessary.
Stay critical – mistakes can happen on the best website. Therefore, compare the information of several offers or at least look at a second page.
Seals of approval can show you whether an effort is being made to ensure quality and openness. You can recognize these by the logos on the home page, such as the HON code. You can click on this and then get more information about the website. Seals, however, say nothing about whether information is accurate in content.
Consider how much you want to tell others about your health, for example, on Internet forums.
Remember that an email is like a postcard that can be read by people for whom it is not intended. Don’t just send your medical history or documents to strangers.
Remember to regularly update your computer’s security settings.
"Finding good information on the net" in collaboration with TV Waiting Room ® … healthy television!