Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsIn this section, we'll be taking you through a range of resources you may find helpful. It's not meant to be a full list. We're a UK-based team, and the resources we're sharing with you tend to reflect that. A little later on, we'll be asking you to help us expand the list by letting us know about the high-quality resources you've identified. The first group we're going to share with you are websites that evaluate research. The first of these is one we mentioned several times in week one. Behind the Headlines is an excellent resource. Updated daily, it looks at research reported in the media. It also has a very useful glossary of terms used in health research.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsThe next is the Cancer Research UK science blog, which focuses on cancer-related research. If this is an area of interest, you'll find it very helpful. In week four, we'll be talking to one of the people involved in the blog. Bad Science is the blog of Ben Goldacre, an advocate of evidence-based medicine. Dr. Goldacre is one of the founders of AllTrials, an organisation that's trying to ensure that the results of all research are published. Currently, only about 50% of data from clinical trials is available. Health Evidence focuses on systematic reviews of public health research. It collects reviews and rates them, according to how well they're conducted.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 secondsPubMed Health has information on the prevention and treatment of disease. It's part of the US National Library of Medicine and links to information from a variety of sources. Like Health Evidence, much of its focus is on systematic reviews of evidence. The National Elf Service, a bit of a pun on the UK National Health Service, provides some recent research in several areas-- dentistry, learning disabilities, mental health, musculoskeletal disorders, and social care. Now, there are a range of resources provided by governmental health departments and ministries. The following are just a few from the UK and the USA. In the UK, one of the most widely used resources is NHS Choices, a website for patients.

Skip to 2 minutes and 43 secondsThe website is home to the Behind the Headlines service and provides clear and straightforward information on a wide range of health topics. Medline Plus is provided by the US National Institutes of Health to offer reliable and up-to-date health information, again, to the general public. Next up, we have the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The agency's purpose is to develop high quality health evidence and to make sure that evidence is used and understood. One of their latest initiatives is a patient safety channel on YouTube. The Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, is the regulatory body that approves medicines and devices in the USA. The site has a range of useful resources, including product information.

Skip to 3 minutes and 42 secondsIf you're interested in guidelines for treatment and management, this resource gives you useful summaries of evidence-based guidance developed in the USA.

Skip to 3 minutes and 53 secondsWe've identified a few international resources, and we welcome your input to identify more. The best known international resource is probably the World Health Organisation. Their website contains a vast array of information with a global perspective on health. The Cancer Atlas is something we identified fairly recently. You may find this useful resource in week four, when we consider risk.

Skip to 4 minutes and 26 secondsThere are a range of database resources that can be very useful. The biggest medical database is PubMed. We haven't actually included this here, because in most cases, the amount of information retrieved in a search is simply overwhelming. However, if you're researching a condition that we know little about, PubMed may be your best bet for information. NICE Evidence Search can be a very good place to start. You'll find guidance, systematic reviews, and large-scale research. Searching a database like this is a lot easier than searching the internet or a big database like PubMed. Trip, like NICE Evidence Search, is another great starting point. We find some people like one better than the other. Try them out to see what you prefer.

Skip to 5 minutes and 23 secondsThe Cochrane Library may not be fully available in all countries, but you should still be able to get summaries. And it produces some of the most rigorous systematic reviews of the evidence in the world. The Electronic Medicines Compendium is a searchable database of information on all drugs approved for use in the UK. If you come from outside the UK and have a similar resource, we'll be asking you to add the details a little later on.

Skip to 5 minutes and 56 secondsHealth charities can be a terrific source of useful information on a particular disease or condition. There are so many charity websites, we didn't really know where to start. Here are just three UK websites that provide clear and balanced information on cancer. Cancer Research UK-- we've already mentioned their blog; Macmillan Cancer Support; and Marie Curie, which also covers the spectrum of palliative care, that is care then maintains rather than cures. Finally, here a couple of sources of quality marks. Looking for websites that display these marks can give you more confidence in the quality of the information you're getting. The Health on the Net Foundation provides certification. Sites that are certified agree to contribute objective and transparent medical information.

Skip to 6 minutes and 59 secondsFinally, sites that have the UK Information Standard quality mark have declared a commitment to trustworthy health and care information and provide assurances of the quality of their internal processes. Hopefully, this will give you a flavour of what's out there. We'll be interested to note the resources you find particularly useful. More on that a little later on.

Using reliable sources

As we’ve learned, the amount of health information on the web can be overwhelming. In this video, we signpost some of the most reliable and trustworthy sources to help you focus your search. You’ll find the links to those sources below.

Evaluating research

Behind the Headlines

Cancer Research Science Blog

Bad Science

Health Evidence Canada

PubMed Health

National Elf Service

Government health department resources

NHS Choices

Medline Plus

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

National Guidelines Clearing House


World Health Organisation

Cancer Atlas

Databases – collections of resources

NICE Evidence Search

TRIP Database

Cochrane Library (may not be fully available in all countries)

UK Electronic Medicines Compendium


Cancer Research UK

MacMillan Cancer Support

Marie Curie UK

Quality marks

Health on the Net

Information Standard

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This video is from the free online course:

Making Sense of Evidence: The Informed Health Consumer

Cardiff University