The following are the most important steps to researching a specific health topic online:
- Look for sites that give the information that you require. We suggest Irish Health (www.irishhealth.com) or VHI (www.vhi.ie). Information/articles reflect Irish medical practices, trends and views. Check the Links section for similar UK and international websites.
- If you have the option of selecting a Category, do so.
- If you require more detailed information than that returned by a category search, choose the search for more information option in the VHI site or related articles or external resources in the Health A to Z website.
- Links to other websites and information are listed under the following headings: Related Topics and Useful Resources and Health Websites.
- To retrieve and download some articles from medical databases and medical journals you may be required to register as a member. The forms are online and step by step instructions are given.
- An email address is necessary to avail of some of the interactive services such as discussion boards, queries, nurse 24/7 or experts‘ FAQ.
- Most support groups and societies have their own website, eg, ‘Meningitis Trust’ (www.meningitis-trust.org), ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ (www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie), ‘Coeliac Society’ (www.coeliac.ie), ’Asthma Society’ (www.asthmasociety.ie), etc.
- Remember to read all disclaimers and terms and conditions carefully.