Health information is often complex for patients, so it’s important to make sure they receive clear and understandable information. With the overload of health information on the Internet and social media, people have access to more information but it’s hard to know which sources to trust. The resources below are great starting points for reliable and trustworthy health information you can point your patients and their families to, that can help them ask questions and be active participants in their own health. Accessing and evaluating online quality health information can be challenging, so the following are vetted resources selected by experienced health sciences librarians:
Provides an overview of Health Literacy.
Recommended starting place for searching for reliable and trustworthy health information. MedlinePlus covers over 1000 health conditions, drugs and supplements, medical tests, a medical encyclopedia and more. All of the information is free and the site is a service of the National Library of Medicine, one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their mission is to present high-quality, relevant health and wellness information that is trusted, easy to understand, and free of advertising, in both English and Spanish. This site is great to recommend for your patients and their families in general, but particularly for materials that are designated easy to read. An alphabetical listing of all designated “easy-to-read” materials are available on the Easy-to-Read page or can be found on various health topic pages by looking for the “Easy-to-Read” label.
Patient handouts from the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. These are also available on each Health Topic page.
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, this site offers health information in English and Spanish, on a wide variety of health topics, including the ability to get personalized recommendations for screenings and vaccines.
This Center is one of the National Institutes of Health and conducts and supports research and provides information about complementary health products and practices. Sections include Health Topics A-Z, Herbs at a Glance, Know the Science, Be an Informed Consumer, Tips on Complementary Health, and more.
Health information resource designed to help patients and caregivers understand the many lab tests that are part of medical care. Laboratory and medical professionals develop and review all content.
The National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) is a private non-profit corporation, established in 1975, located in Buda, Texas. NCFH provides information services, technical assistance, and training to more than 500 private and federally funded migrant health centers as well as other organizations and individuals serving the farmworker population. The organization’s resources include bilingual patient education materials handouts and a few videos.
2020 (Lifeology) A new collaboration between virology and public health experts Shauna Bennett and Jessica Malaty Rivera (The COVID Tracking Project), and UK artist Matthew Griffiths has resulted in a Lifeology “flashcard” illustrated primer on How Vaccines Work. The primer course is open access (CC-BY-SA) and available in both English and Spanish. English: https://lifeology.us.lifeomic.com/static/ologies/healthcare/how-do-vaccines-work/index.html#/ Spanish: https://lifeology.us.lifeomic.com/static/ologies/healthcare/how-do-vaccines-work/es.html#/ Feel free to use and share. There are other COVID-related illustrated “flashcard” courses available in English and Spanish at The Coronavirus Center by Lifology.
Provides education resources in multiple languages for health care professionals and others to use in their communities. Resources are easy-to-read and culturally appropriate.
Patient discharge and take-home summaries. Available to UNC only through Epic@UNC
This site from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information, data and publications, tools and resources, and a link to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number and website.
SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance and improve the behavioral health of the nation and to improve the lives of people living with mental and substance abuse disorders, and their families.
One of the National Institutes of Health, NIMH is the agency for research on mental disorders. Booklets, brochures, fact sheets, ebooks, and posters are available.
This organization is the federal agency leading research on mental disorders and offers information on mental disorders and a range of related topics.
The nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
This site provides information on common mental disorders, including symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options.
Moderated communities of support groups on a wide variety of challenges.
Communities of people that can provide support through shared experience and outcomes.