Recommended

MedlinePlus – Ear, Nose and Throat

MedlinePlus - Ear, Nose and Throat is a great source of information about conditions affecting the ears, nose, & throat. The section includes a medical encyclopedia and links to a variety outside resources providing detailed information about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of many otolaryngologic (ENT) conditions. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019

Scoring

Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic or body part list. There are more topics available when browsing by anatomy than by topic. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of the disease and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to the condition. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

The home page is very plain, having only a list of topics & systems along with a pointless illustration of the head.

Quality

Users will discover that this section chiefly covers common ENT conditions, but also includes some topics are unrelated to these. Inconsistent referencing make the reliability of each MedlinePlus page for a disease or condition variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for disease summaries and information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or specialty organization sites.

Credibility

MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the American Academy of Otolaryngology, American Rhinologic Society, American Academy of Family Physicians, and Academy of General Dentistry. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally on the linked sites.

Pros

  1. Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about & related to ear, nose, and throat disease
  2. Multiple links to reliable and up-to-date information about the more common ENT conditions
  3. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and supplemented with materials generated by authoritative organizations

Cons

  1. The site could use a wider range of topics and a few seem out of place, such as thyroid cancer and esophageal disease
  2. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced
  3. Users will have to spend significant time navigating and reading in order to get helpful information

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Patient handouts, videos, images, relevant journal articles, specialist finder, links to research, health check tools, clinical trials

Languages: English, Spanish

Contact: custserv@nlm.nih.gov