This morning’s NPR story, “Patients Turn to the Internet for Health Information,” featured data from my e-patients report, but also some research that has been conducted at the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (CHESS) at the University of Wisconsin. CHESS researchers Robert Hawkins and Suzanne Pingree talked about how breast cancer patients in their study seemed to benefit from being directed to doctor-approved health information online.

If you are interested in learning more about such doctor-directed health information sources, I recommend looking into the Center for Information Therapy, as well as some health search engines, like Organized Wisdom, Kosmix, Healia, Healthline, Mamma Health,and Medstory.

But I’m also interested in people’s opinions about the open internet vs. closed systems. Our research shows that most people just use a general search engine when they have a health question, but many report feeling overwhelmed by what they find. What’s the trade-off? What other resources are out there for e-patients?