“Do as I say and not as I do” It really is important to assess the quality of all information, especially from the Internet (including blogs like this) and especially with respect to health and safety.

The Pew Internet Project announces the release of its report Online Health Search 2006. The press release is below; for the full report, please visit:

Most internet users start at a general search engine when researching health and medical advice online. Three-quarters of internet users who look online for such advice do not consistently check the source and date of the information they find.

Just 15% of health seekers say they “always” check the source and date of the health information they find online, while another 10% say they do so “most of the time.” Fully three-quarters of health seekers say they check the source and date “only sometimes,” “hardly ever,” or “never,” which translates to about 85 million Americans gathering health advice online without consistently examining the quality indicators of the information they find.

These 2006 findings compare with the one-quarter of health seekers who said they always checked the source and date, one-quarter who did so most of the time, and the 50% of health seekers who said they rarely or never checked these two quality indicators in our survey in 2001. One possible reason for this diminished diligence in checking sources and dates might lie with health websites themselves: A recent study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds that less than 2% of popular health sites display the source and date of the information on their pages.
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One new item joined the list of health topics this year: 15% of internet users, or about 21 million adults, have looked online for information about dental health.

To read the entire report please visit:

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