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Being a savvy internet searcher

Featuring content from MediResource Inc.

If you're looking for information on MS, the internet is a powerful tool. Here's how to locate the information you need and make sure it's from a trusted source.

Finding information

There are a few different ways to quickly find the information you need:

MS-related websites: The MS channel on this website has a wealth of information, including a large number of articles on living with MS. MS-related websites such as the MS Society of Canada (www.mssociety.ca) and the National MS Society (www.nationalmssociety.org) sites bring together useful, good-quality information on MS.

Search engines: Search engines help you quickly find websites related to your keywords (words that relate to your question). To find information, visit a search engine (e.g., search.yahoo.com, www.google.ca) and type in words related to your question. For example, if you want to know whether there are any new treatments for relapsing-remitting MS, you could type in new treatments relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Databases: If you're looking for articles from scientific journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, or the British Medical Journal, try using a database. Databases bring together huge collections of scientific journal articles and let you search through the collection using keywords. The PubMed database, available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/ is a popular choice. Google Scholar (scholar.google.com) is another way to search through scientific journals, books, and articles.

Evaluating a website

How do you know if you can trust a website? Here are a few questions to keep in mind:

  • Who sponsors the website?
  • When was the information last updated?
  • Does the site clearly distinguish advertising from the rest of the information on the site?
  • Are funding sources identified?
  • Does the site collect personal information? If so, does it have a privacy policy that explains exactly what will and will not be done with this information?
  • Is the information on the site intended to support, but not replace, your relationship with your doctor and other healthcare providers?
  • Is all of the information on the site created and reviewed by trained medical professionals?
  • Does the information seem to be balanced or is the site clearly promoting a product or opinion?

By asking yourself these questions, you can determine whether the website is a trustworthy source of health information. You can also ask your doctor, pharmacist, nurse, librarian, or local MS society to recommend trusted health websites.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Doing-Your-Own-Research