MedlinePlus - Lungs and Breathing information is a starting point for accessing websites about the anatomy and function of the lung and a wide range of lung diseases and breathing disorders. The section includes a medical encyclopedia and links to a variety outside resources providing basic information about the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pulmonary disease. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.
The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list or organ. 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.
The home page is very plain, having only a list of topics & systems along with a simple illustration of the respiratory system
Users will encounter topics with adequate depth and breadth to provide a basic understanding of of many pulmonary conditions. 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.
MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the American Lung Association, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, American Thoracic Society, and American Association for Respiratory Care. 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.
Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about and related to a wide range of lung disease & breathing disorders
Large subsections on "Lung Diseases" and "Breathing Problems" have good breadth and depth
Multiple links to highly credible websites with reliable, up-to-date, and adequately detailed information about many pulmonary diseases
The sight could use a wider range of topics and a few seem out of place, such as head & neck cancer, sinusitis, and throat disorders
User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced here
Users will have to spend significant time navigating and reading in order to get helpful information
Sponsors / Affiliations:
The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health