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For those who suffer from arthritis, it is important to access current and authoritative information on the ailment. Unfortunately, not all resources found online are created equal. As the quote above highlights, it is quite possible that older populations suffering from arthritis could access inaccurate or outdated information on arthritis due to the nature of the internet. This short discussion identifies two resources in particular – one from the Mayo Clinic, which is credible, and one from Arthritis-Health, which is slightly suspect due to its commercial nature. First, the Mayo Clinic provides a detailed page on the symptoms, causes, treatment, and self-management of arthritis. The information appears to be current, as the page was last updated in January of 2016. The information is certainly relevant, since the page provides a holistic overview of arthritis as well as specific steps for self-management and resources for further reading. The page certainly has authority, as the Mayo Clinic is a trusted source of health information and is one of the highest ranked hospitals in the United States. This also means the information can be trusted to be accurate. The overall purpose is perfect for the average person seeking health education, as it steps the consumer through an overview of arthritis. I would recommend this site to others because it is an accessible, easy to navigate resource for health education.
In contrast, arthritis-health.com provides a great deal of reading material regarding arthritis but without the obvious benefit. It is unclear how current the information is, since none of the articles have dates attached to them. Furthermore, while some topics may be relevant, the information is split up into small, unrelated articles, with many having little relevance to the average consumer in this population. The authority of the site is also unclear, as it seems to operate primarily on ads and does not have an established reputation. The information does appear to be accurate when comparing it to the Mayo Clinic, but the overall purpose of the site seems to be commercial rather than health education, given the prevalence of pay-per-click ads on the site. I would not recommend this site to authors, based on both its commercial nature and the fact that it is relatively difficult to navigate. Since my health clients rely primarily on Google to search for health information and manage their health, I would recommend sticking to some of the first results (such as Mayo Clinic) in the search results page, as they are likely to be the most trustworthy.
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