Health research guide

This guide to print and online health resources lists resources deemed useful, authoritative and current. It does not include materials pertinent only to specific diseases or conditions; for such materials, please ask a librarian for assistance. This guide is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for consulting with your physician or other health care provider.

General Health and Health Reference

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    The United States Centers for Disease Control site offers detailed travelers' health information and recommendations, online health brochures and reports, statistical data, health-related announcements, information on human development, diseases, emergency preparedness, and much more.
  • ClinicalTrials.Gov
    Developed by the National Institutes for Health, this site provides information regarding current clinical research on medical treatments for all sorts of health problems. Search or browse by type or name of condition to find links to relevant trials. Useful information about trials in general is also available.
  • ConsumerReportsHealth.org (database)
    The same nonprofit organization that produces Consumer Reports also produces Consumer Reports Health, which presents research, ratings, and recommendations for products and practices ranging from hospitals, exercise equipment and alternative health practices to prescription drugs, health insurance, and healthy living.
  • Credo Reference: Medicine (database)
    Credo Medicine contains the full text of over 30 medical reference books, including the Encyclopedia of Women's Health, Black's Veterinary Dictionary, and Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary.
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition (database)
    Available from home with a valid library card. This database provides full text articles from over 500 professional journals covering all fields of medicine.
  • MayoClinic.com
    The Mayo Clinic offers excellent reference materials for diseases and conditions, drugs, first-aid and self-care. It also has interactive heath features.
  • MEDLINE (database)
    MEDLINE, provided by the National Library of Medicine, offers authoritative information in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. It allows users to search millions of abstracts from over 4,600 biomedical journals, and some abstracts link to the full articles.
  • MEDLINEPlus
    The National Library of Medicine maintains this authoritative and easy-to-use site providing information on all sorts of health matters, including diseases, medical terms, drugs, hospitals, news and more.
  • Merck Manual, 18th edition. 2006. [R 616.075 MER]
    A standard and comprehensive reference for health professionals and others, the Merck Manual covers almost all medical disorders, symptoms, common clinical procedures, current therapies and laboratory tests. Also available online.
  • Merck Manual Home Health Handbook. 2009. [610 MER]
    This version of the Merck Manual is aimed at the public rather than medical professionals. As well as using simpler terminology, it has sections on fundamentals of health, aging, drugs, and medical tests.
  • Merck Manual of Geriatrics, third edition. 2000. [R 618.97 MER (OWL)]
    This authoritative guide to health issues surrounding aging not only includes information on numerous conditions and diseases, but also on the biology of aging, managed care, quality of life and much more. Also available online.
  • National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
    The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" conditions and the organizations that serve them. NORD is committed to the identification, treatment and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research and service.
  • NORD Guide to Rare Disorders. 2003. [R 616 NAT]
    This is the encyclopedic printed information from the National Organization for Rare Disorders; it covers numerous rare medical conditions.
  • Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 28th edition. 2006. [R 610.3 STE]
    As well as a thorough dictionary of medical terms, this book contains drawings and photo illustrations of many terms and conditions, and has several useful appendices of blood types, temperature conversions and other health matters.
  • Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 21st edition. 2009. [610.3 TAB]
    In addition to concise definitions for thousands of medical terms, this dictionary has several useful appendices covering such matters as nutrition, alternative therapies, phobias, medical abbreviations and poisons.

Selecting a Provider

  • AMA DoctorFinder
    AMA DoctorFinder is a directory of over 800,000 licensed U.S. physicians. You can search by name or specialization, and by state, city or zip code.
  • America's Top Doctors [R 610.25 AME]
    This regularly updated directory list physicians considered by their peers and other authorities to be the best doctors practicing in a given medical specialty. Top clinics are also listed.
  • America's Top Doctors for Cancer [R 610.25 AME]
    This regularly updated directory list physicians considered by their peers and other authorities to be the best doctors in particular sorts of cancer. Top clinics are also listed.
  • Comparative Guide to American Hospitals, 2nd edition. 2007. [R 362.11]
    This reference book ranks hospitals in the U. S. based on their standard of care for three common ailments: heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. Each hospital is profiled in a following section. A state by state statistical summary is included as well, allowing users to quickly compare hospitals in a specific state.
  • Medicare Long Term Care Guide
    The information on this site is provided by Medicare, and includes topics such as Steps to Choosing Long Term Care, Types of Long Term Care and Paying for Long Term Care. It also has a database to compare nursing homes, as well as an additional page of resources that includeagencies to contact for further information.
  • Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists. Revised annually. [R 610.25 OFF]
    This four-volume set lists physicians certified by one (or more) of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties. It contains brief biographical information on the doctors, their pertinent medical training and contact information. Specialists can be found by name, geographic location or specialty. Also available online.
  • Questionable Doctors Disciplined by States or the Federal Government by Sidney Wolfe et al. 2000. [R 610.25 QUE]
    The Public Citizen Health Research Group compiled this list from state and federal medical licensing and disciplinary boards' records. As well as listing disciplined doctors by state and giving their offense(s), it explains how to file complaints regarding physician wrongdoing.
  • State of Ohio Long Term Care Consumer Guide
    Published by the Ohio Department of Aging, this web site includes information about nursing homes and assisted living facilities to help consumers, family members and professionals search for the appropriate facility to meet an individual's needs. You can search online for Residential Assisted Living Facilities as well as Nursing Facilities, and evaluations of the facilities are also available.
  • State of Ohio Medical Board
    This is the official site of Ohio's Licensure Boards, the agencies that oversee doctors, dentists, psychologists, pharmacist assistants, massage therapists, cosmetic therapists, acupuncturists, mechanotherapists and anesthesiologist assistants. It provides information on the Boards' actions, a database of Ohio licensees and any formal actions taken or pending against them, as well as information on how to file complaints against a practitioner.

Drugs and Medications

  • Consumer Drug Reference by Consumer Reports. [R 615.1 COM]
    This list of almost every prescription and nonprescription medicine provides authoritative consumer-oriented information about the drug's proper uses, precautions, generic and brand names and indications. Unlike the Physicians Desk Reference, this is not merely a replication of manufacturer package inserts, but contains independent reports.
  • Food and Drug Administration
    The FDA has up to date U.S. government information and advice on Food, Drugs, Medical Devices, Cosmetics, and other matters of public health. It also has information on how and where to report problems.
  • Lexi-PALS Drug Guide (database)
    The Lexi-PALS Drug Guide is a database of Patient Advisory Leaflets. It contains over 1,450 medication and natural product pamphlets presented in an easy to follow and understand question-and-answer format. It covers common questions regarding medications, and is generally easier to understand than the Physician's Desk Reference.
  • Physicians Desk Reference [PDR]. Revised annually. [R 615.1 PHY]
    This guide to prescription drugs contains each listing's official, FDA-approved information from the drug's manufacturer. Drug effects, dosages, contraindications, warnings and more are provided, as are pictures of most of the medications.
  • Worst Pills, Best Pills: A Consumer's Guide to Avoiding Drug-Induced Death or Illness, revised edition by Sidney Wolfe et al. 2005. [615.1 WOR]
    This compendium from the Public Citizen Health Research Group presents information about prescription drugs, complete with warnings beyond those of the Food and Drug Administration. It is consumer-oriented and contains general information regarding drug use, purchasing and other relevant matters.

Alternative Health Care

  • Alt HealthWatch (database)
    This database focuses on the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health care and wellness. It contains full text articles from more than 170 international magazines,professional journals, reports, association & consumer newsletters, plus hundreds of pamphlets, booklets, special reports, original research and book excerpts.
  • ConsumerReportsHealth.org (database)
    This resource offers evidenced-based evaluations and recommendations of a wide range of alternative health products and practices, from general supplements to specific herbs, conditions, and treatments.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, second edition. 2005. [R 615.5 GAL]
    This four-volume set includes more than 800 articles about health and alternative medicine. Articles cover topics such as complementary therapies, herbs and remedies and common medical diseases and conditions. Resource material is included with each article.
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    One of the National Institutes of Health, the NCCAM provides scientifically researched information regarding complementary and alternative healing practices. A database of the literature and other authoritative information on these topics are among its features.
  • PDR for Herbal Medicines, third edition. 2004. [R 615.321 PDR]
    Based on both the German Commission E Monographs and the PhytoPharm U. S. Institute of Phytopharmaceuticals' literature review, this is a thorough guide to herbal medicines. It includes a color identification guide, brand names, common names, indications and contraindications, usages, homeopathic uses, Asian (Chinese and Indian) uses, side effects, interactions and more.
  • Quackwatch
    This site, operated by a retired physician turned consumer advocate, is a guide to medical quackery, health fraud and intelligent health-related decisions. Its extensive contents cover chiropractic, magnet therapy and many other alternative therapies, as well as information on consumer protection, health strategies and nutrition.

Mental Health

  • APA Resources for the Public
    The American Psychological Association's Help Center and Psychology Topics offers news, recommended books, online brochures and much more useful information about all kinds of psychological conditions.
  • Authoritative Guide to Self-Help Resources in Mental Health edited by John Norcross et al. 2003. [362.2 AUT]
    Based on a survey of over 2,500 psychologists, this guide lists books, movies and Internet sites aimed at self-help for mental health problems. Its ratings range from five stars (Strongly Recommended) to a dagger (Strongly Not Recommended). Over two dozen alphabetically-arranged topics organize the book, including anger, divorce, stress, teenagers and parenting.
  • Credo Reference: Philosophy and Psychology (database)
    The Credo Psychology collection includes many full text psychology reference books. Among them are Elsevier's Dictionary of Psychological Theories, the Handbook of Forensic Psychology, and the Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness.
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR, fourth edition. (Text revision). 2000. [R 616.89 DIA]
    The American Psychiatric Association creates this as the authoritative guide to symptoms and diagnoses of the full range of mental disorders. Written for professionals, it is still often useful for members of the public.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health. 2008. [R 616.89 GAL]
    This two-volume set contains hundreds of short articles, written by experts, on all sorts of mental health and related matters, from adjustment disorders, bibliotherapy, and delusions, to methadone, paraphilias and somatization.
  • Mental Health Disorders Sourcebook, 4th edition edited by Karen Bellenir. 2009. [616.89 MEN]
    This volume contains solid, consumer-oriented articles on mental health generally, as well as on several major sorts of mental illness (anxiety, schizophrenia, etc.) and types of therapy. The articles are authoritative but may be a few years old, so they are best read as overviews rather than cutting-edge knowledge. A list of additional resources and organizations is also provided.
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection (database)
    The Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection is a comprehensive database with more than 510 full text publications covering topics such as emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry and psychology, mental processes, anthropology and observational and experimental methods.

revised August 2010