Doing your own research for a personal
health or medical concern can sometimes be a daunting task.
There are so many resources available itís often difficult
to know where to begin. Before you start your search,
you should have a clear idea of what it is you want to know.
This is always helpful even when a professional librarian
is assisting you with your search.
Try to think of a few sentences
to describe what it is you want to know.
Helpful Examples Are:
I want to know what (name of
disease or medical condition) is, how itís treated,
and what I can expect for the short and long term.
My doctor has prescribed (name
of drug) to treat (name of disease or medical condition).
Are there any side effects to this drug? Are there any
studies about how effective it is? Are there other drugs
similar to this that work as well?
My doctor has recommended surgery
for (name of disease or medical condition ).
If I have this surgery, how is it done? Is there research
on this surgeryís effectiveness? How long will it take me
to recover? What other treatment options are available?
How effective are they? Are there things I can do to
help myself? General or unclear sentences about what it is
you want to know can take you in the wrong direction
and you may end up wasting valuable time.
I want to know everything I can
about (disease or medical condition).
What is (name of disease, medical
condition, drug, medical test, etc.)?
Also, consider the type of information
you want. If you are just starting your search and know
very little about the topic, you may want general information
so you can understand key concepts. Books are usually the
best place to find general information.
For easy to understand background information on your topic
look at some of the full-text consumer books listed on the
website in the "Internet Resources" section as well as
a consumer health information database from the National
Library of Medicine. Before using MedlinePlus, take
TO "FINDING THE ANSWERS" PAGE
TO HEALTHNET HOMEPAGE
Funded in part
by the National Library of Medicine under contract NO1-LM-6-3528
with the University of Connecticut Health Center.