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Book details of 'How to Find Health Information on the Internet (1st Ed)'

TitleHow to Find Health Information on the Internet (1st Ed)
Author(s)Bruce Maxwell
PublishedAugust 1998
PublisherCongressional Quarterly Books (Sd)
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'How to Find Health Information on the Internet (1st Ed)':

Reviewer wrote:
There are those who complain that the Internet is pernicious waste of time whereby you surf, you cruise, you fritter away valuable portions of your life in futile Net searches, but Bruce Maxwell's guide to health information on the Internet actually adds to the quality (and possibly the duration) of your life, providing easy access to 600 of the most useful health Web sites currently available, from a site devoted to Aarskog Syndrome to the Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization. Along with information on medical directories and search engines, doctors and hospitals, general health resources and medical libraries, there are Web sites and email addresses for health conditions, diseases, and illnesses from AIDS to substance abuse, URLs on various prevention and treatment topics such as travel, fitness, and alternative medicines, and on health-care issues like health insurance, smoking, and dying. When it's 3 a.m. and you can't sleep and you want to know right away what the deal is with that dull pain in your gut, or any other time when you need reliable medical information in a timely fashion, Maxwell's guide is a great boon.

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
There are two major and important points made before the book starts. The preface notes, and the introduction reiterates, that all information contained in the book, and found on the Internet, should be checked with your doctor. Maxwell is not a physician, and a large amount of the data published on the net is created by people whose level of medical expertise you have no way of checking. Which leads to the second point. The introduction notes that content provided to you may be produced by people who are ignorant, opinionated, biased, or who have a proprietary interest in whatever they are recommending. There are excellent general principles, and even a list of points to check, to try and assess the quality and validity of information or sites that you find. Actually, the title of the book may be slightly misleading. Only part one, the second shortest section of the text, deals with searching for information, and that primarily for general references or resources. There are listings for directories, physicians, hospitals, news sources, libraries, and references. Although AltaVista is mentioned in the preface, there is no content regarding strategies to use when searching for health information using generic search engines or other net resources. Part two looks at specific conditions and diseases, from AIDS to substance abuse. Prevention and treatment discusses alternative medicine to drugs to women's health in part three. A variety of health care related issues have resources listed in part four, such as death, ethics, and health care policies. Grouped under the different specific topics are online resources. Most of these are Web sites, but there are also Usenet newsgroups and mailing lists. All Web sites have been visited and are described as to contents and possible reliability. Newsgroups and mailing lists are described very briefly, and there is little indication that they have been reviewed or observed for any period of time. The index is well organized: even when a specific area of interest is not one of the topic headings related listings should be able to be found. Contrary to popular belief, not all information is available on the Internet. If you have a specific need for medical information it is quite possible that the knowledge you want simply does not exist online. With the decline in interest in shotgun "yellow page" volumes, though, this level of reviewed and higher quality directory information may be very welcome to the growing audience of Web users. copyright Robert M. Slade, 1998

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Book description:

New diseases, new treatments, potential breakthroughs, new health care delivery systems. Everything is changing so quickly in health care today. And the huge growth in the Internet is revolutionizing the way consumers learn about health issues. With the thousands of free health-related Internet sites now available, people need help finding reliable information that can help them stay well and battle any illnesses that strike them or their loved ones. That's what makes How to Find Health Information on the Internet so invaluable. Its descriptions of more than 600 of the best health-related Web sites, mailing lists, and Usenet newsgroups make it the most complete, reliable, and up-to-date guide available. Using How to Find Health Information on the Internet, readers can learn how to stay healthy, how to investigate specific illnesses, and how to find online support from others who suffer the same illness--or can use the book as a broad survey of what health information is available online. Besides providing the site listings, celebrated Internet author and investigative journalist Bruce Maxwell describes how health information he found on the Internet helped save his life, lists numerous criteria to consider when assessing the quality of Internet health information, and provides a useful glossary of Internet terms. A detailed 25-page index provides fast access to the book's wealth of information.

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