Highly Recommended

MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's website for the general public. Users can explore the site's 975+ topics to learn about diseases, conditions, and wellness. MedlinePlus is highly recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.

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Review Date: 5/2/2018

Scoring

Ease of Use

Clearly-labelled subsection headings organize what would otherwise be an overwhelming number of links to navigate. Each topic leads to a page with a "Start Here" section that provides basic information on a condition before moving into topics like diagnosis, treatment, images, and clinical trials. Although the search bar pulls results from the entire MedlinePlus catalogue, using this website is as easy as scrolling a page and finding the topic of most relevance.

Visual Design

MedlinePlus features a professional and simple visual design. Few images populate the pages here, but the topics explored often have links to relevant multimedia, especially videos. The site's use of color is subtle and pleasant, proving that a website doesn't need to be flashy in order to stand out visually.

Quality

This website includes comprehensive and accurate information about general health and FDA-approved drugs appropriate for consumers. The general health information is unreferenced, but includes resources from numerous high quality sources. The section on supplements and herbal preparations is well referenced with evidence-based information on effectiveness and includes safety concerns and interactions with medications. The section on lab tests is well referenced although limited.

Credibility

MedlinePlus publishes very little original content and instead links to other highly credible sources like National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, Nemours Foundation, Mayo Clinic, PubMed, and countless more. Although the site'c currency varies depending on the different pages, MedlinePlus does a great job updating its pages within a two year period.

Pros

  1. Health topics are categorized in several ways: by body location/system, disorders/condition, diagnosis/therapy, demographic group, or health/wellness issue
  2. Wide scope of the disease/condition, offering practical tips alongside more clinical information
  3. Detailed and accurate information about FDA-approved drugs and supplements
  4. Dozens of links to outside resources which are reliable, accurate, and comprehensive
  5. Outside resources are typically easy to understand for general consumers

Cons

  1. Pages may have an overwhelming number of links to navigate
  2. Users must spend a lot of time reading and navigating to and from the many links provided to get detailed information

Profile

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

Accreditations: HON seal (2017)

Additional Features: Medical encyclopedia, medical dictionary, videos, health check tools, interactive games, e-magazine, patient handouts, relevant journal articles, FAQs

Languages: English, Spanish

Contact: custserv@nlm.nih.gov

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