Sources of Consumer Health Information

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Canadian Sources

Health Canada

In partnership with provincial and territorial governments, Health Canada provides national leadership to develop health policy, enforce health regulations, promote disease prevention and enhance healthy living for all Canadians.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) promotes a safe and healthy working environment by providing information and advice about occupational health and safety.

Canadian Health Network

The Canadian Health Network is a federally funded Web-based consumer health information service.  The aim of the project is to provide Canadians with easier access to authoritative, current information on health promotion and disease prevention. The network has over 500 partner organizations comprised of non-profit groups, government agencies and educational institutions. Through the Web site, individuals can have one-window access to the resources of all of these partner organizations.

Canadian Medical Association

CMA Infobase Clinical Practice Guidelines are produced or endorsed in Canada by a national, provincial or territorial medical or health organization, professional society, government agency or expert panel.  These guidelines describe "best practice" for treating a wide variety of diseases and health problems.

The Health Line

The Alberta Consumer Health Information Society supports informed  decision-making about wellness, health, and health care services by providing consumer-oriented information, free of charge to the public, through

Healthnet Canada

Healthnet Canada has opened their new website for health information in Canada. It has information for consumers but it is a health and product promotion site.

Health In Action

Health In Action was created in response to the expressed needs of health promotion and injury prevention practitioners, program planners, funders and researchers in Alberta for an easy to use, yet comprehensive directory of health promotion and injury prevention programs, projects, and resources in the Province.  It continues to develop in a way that supports the coordination of health promotion and injury prevention programming in Alberta.   The links from this site are extensive and comprehensive.  The range of topics is eclectic and includes suicide prevention and spousal abuse. (

Therapeutics Initiative

The Therapeutics Initiative provides evidence based advice about drug therapy.
The Therapeutics Letter, issue 35, May / June 2000 provides the conscientious practitioners with online and other sources of information about drug therapies to help them stay up to date without spending too much time or money?

Canadian Women's Health Network

The Canadian Women's Health Network is a Network of individuals, groups, organizations and institutions concerned with women's health. The CWHN recognizes the importance of information sharing, education and advocacy for women's health and equality. It works to build and strengthen the women's health movement in Canada and throughout the world. (

Alberta Dental Association

The Alberta Dental Association is the public protection and governing body for dentistry in Alberta.  The Alberta Dental Association licenses dentists and ensures that the oral health of Albertans is advanced through safe, available, affordable, quality and ethical dental services. The Alberta Dental Association is a key partner, policy advisor, and decision-maker with the public, government, industry and other health professionals.   The site offers basic information about dentists and the care of teeth. (

Other Sites

Food and Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration touches the lives of virtually every American every day.  For it is FDA's job to see that the food Americans eat is safe and wholesome, the cosmetics they use won't hurt them, the medicines and medical devices they use are safe and effective, and that radiation-emitting products such as microwave ovens won't do them harm.  Feed and drugs for pets and farm animals also come under FDA scrutiny. FDA also ensures that all of these products are labeled truthfully with the information that people need to use them properly.  This web site has information about many of the products and services that the FDA regulates.

Cochrane Collaboration

The main output of The Cochrane Collaboration is systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions. These systematic reviews are published electronically in successive issues of The Cochrane Library.  This is a subscription service aimed at professionals.  However, abstracts of their reviews with conclusions are available for free. (

Tufts University Nutrition Commentator

The single goal of Tufts University Nutrition Commentator ( is to help journalists answer their readers' questions about nutrition and food safety. is a gateway website that provides links to selected U.S. government food safety-related information.  This web site is part of the National Food Safety Information Network. It is maintained by FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.


healthfinder (r) - a U.S. gateway consumer health and human services information web site.  It has information on: AIDS, food safety, alternative medicine, medicare, cancer, and  tobacco. is a sponsored site that is run by InteliHealth a subsidiary of Aetna U.S. Healthcare.  InteliHealth's expert editors "consumerize" health information to make it accessible to the widest possible audience.  More than 150 top health care organizations contribute to InteliHealth's online and offline ventures, including the National Institutes of Health, other government agencies, major non-profits, other publishers and news media.

Mayo Clinic Health Oasis

Mayo Clinic Health Oasis, is a source of reliable health information from Mayo Clinic.  This site is directed by a team of Mayo physicians, scientists, writers and educators.  The Mayo Clinic presence on the Web is a natural extension of Mayo's long-standing commitment to provide health education to our patients and the general public.  The Mayo Clinic Health Oasis is the only Web site that gives you access to the experience and knowledge of the more than 1,200 physicians and scientists at Mayo.  They provide easy-to-read, relevant information for a healthier life.  In addition to a growing database of explanations on how to treat common and not-so-common illnesses, as well as information on disease prevention.

The site is sponsored but  Mayo retains the right to refuse any advertisement that it believes is incompatible with its mission.  Also, the site conforms to the HON (Health on the Net Foundation) code of ethics for health care sites.  Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit institution with a more than 100-year history of excellence in patient care, medical research and education.


MEDLINEplus is a gold mine of up-to-date, quality health care information from the world’s largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. MEDLINEplus is for anyone with a medical question. Both health professionals and consumers can depend on it for accurate, current, medical information.  This service provides access to extensive information about specific diseases and conditions and also has links to consumer health information from the National Institutes of Health, dictionaries, lists of hospitals and physicians, health information in Spanish and other languages, and clinical trials. There is no advertising on this site, nor does MEDLINEplus endorse any company or product.

MedicineNet, Inc.

MedicineNet, Inc. is an online, healthcare media publishing company.  It provides easy-to-read, in-depth, authoritative medical information for consumers via a network of robust, user-friendly, interactive web sites.  One interesting feature of this site is a "Drug Interaction Tool."  It was just under the date when this was written.  The Tool allows you to list your medications and will provide a report listing the interactions among the drugs and some foods.  You do need the exact name of your medication.  (


Medscape offers specialists, primary care physicians, other health professionals and consumers the Web's most robust and integrated multi-specialty medical information and education tool. Users may choose a personal Medscape home page from an assortment of specialty sites, primary care medicine sites, and nonclinical sites such as "Money & Medicine" or "Humor & Medicine." After a simple, one time, free registration, Medscape automatically delivers to you the site you specify or that best fits your profile if you make no specification.  Medscape was acquired by WebMD December 26, 2001.  The site will focus on meeting the needs of health professionals.


Healtheon/WebMD's strategic partners, technology, content and services  enable a more efficient and people-oriented healthcare system, reduce costs, empower consumers, and improve care across the entire healthcare system.  The site is sponsored and does have something for everyone.   Consumers who plan to use WebMD's health assessment tools should read their privacy policy.

The Merck Manual Home Edition

Health-care professionals have turned to The Merck Manual for more than a century. Now this information is available to you, in easy-to-understand English.  This ultimate online health reference is brought to you as a service from Merck & Co., Inc., the company committed to providing quality medical information on a not-for-profit basis for more than 100 years.  The company does sell drugs for a profit.  However, the manual contains basic health information in a text or interactive format.  The interative format makes full use of the multimedia potential of your computer.  (

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This site is maintained by Larry Phillips 07/10/02