Health Information and Consumer Education

According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2022), “information literacy is an intellectual framework for finding, understanding, evaluating, and using information” (p. 522). In today’s technological environment, information literacy is intricately connected to health literacy, which is the ability to acquire and understand knowledge to manage one’s health (p. 364).
The Internet is credited with improving access to abundant information in an expedient manner, for those of us who have access to a computer/device and the infrastructure required to use it. For example, today’s search on the “health benefits of chocolate” yielded 115,000,00 results in 0.88 seconds. The scope of those results in an incredibly short time frame is nearly inconceivable. Those of us in need of immediate gratification for answers to unknown questions may regard this as a divine tool. However, on that same continuum, this proliferation of material can lead to information overload; the volume of information we receive can overwhelm our ability to process it.
The same is true for our patients, consumers of healthcare information. Informed consumers pay more attention to their health and have better health outcomes while those with low health literacy are less likely to successfully manage their health conditions (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022, p. 364). Our ability to rely on information from the internet is largely dependent on the credibility of its source. Is all online information created equally? Inherently we know that the answer is a resounding “NO”. In order to further understand the rationale for that sentiment, this activity will explore the process for evaluating online resources for use in consumer education. Improving health literacy and access to information is a public health imperative.

  1. Identify a consumer health education topic for your patient population.
  2. Locate two online resources (websites), one credible resource and one suspect resource, directed at the general public on this topic.
  3. Include these two resources in your initial post, along with a link to the sites
  4. Evaluate each site based on:
    o The CRAAP criteria (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose)
    o Health literacy levels
    o Cultural considerations
  5. Answer and justify your response to the question “Would you recommend these sites to others?”
  6. Do your patients have tools to access the web:
    o If yes, what types of online or mobile tools are your clients using to manage their health?
    o If no, what other sources of health education would you recommend to them?
  7. For each website, provide a reference citation at the end of your initial post in proper APA format for online sources; see the APA Manual, 7th ed. (APA, 2020, pp. 350-352).
    McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2022). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones and Bartlett Learning, LLC.

• Review the following web sites:
o Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test
o Medical Library Association (MLA)- For Health Consumers and Patients: MLA Top Health Websites

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