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Barwon Health Library Service: Consumer Health

Evidence for Excellence

This consumer health information has been developed by trusted health organisations. Search the following websites for information about conditions, treatments, and drugs or supplements by clicking on the logos or the blue hyperlinks.    

Please note:  Information on these websites does not replace care provided by medical practitioners and other qualified health professionals.

Better Health Channel

Better Health Channel

Better Health Channel is funded by the Victorian State Government.  Search for conditions and treatments, services and supports and healthy living tips.


Healthdirect Australia

Check symptoms, find health services and search for health information.

The free healthdirect Australia app is available by searching for 'healthdirect' in your app store.

Download the Healthdirect Australia app from the Apple App StoreDownload the Healthdirect app from Google Play


Australian Indigenous Health Info Net

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet makes comprehensive, up-to-date information accessible to people interested in the health of Indigenous Australians.

National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health - US

US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health conducts and supports research and provides information about complementary health products and practices. 

Therapeutic Goods Administration - Department of Health

This Australian Government website allows you to search for Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) on the safe and effective use of a prescription or specified over-the-counter medicine.

DrugInfo - Australian Drug Foundation

Facts, resources and information about alcohol and drugs from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Australia’s leading organisation committed to preventing alcohol and other drug harms in our communities.

MyValues - Your Voice When You Cannot Speak For Yourself

MyValues is a set of specially constructed statements designed to help you identify, consider and communicate your wishes about the medical treatment you would want in the later stages of life.

Mood and Food

The Food and Mood Centre is based at Deakin and investigates the link between diet and mental health. Watch some videos to see how a better diet can improve depression and anxiety


UpToDate Patient Info

If you are seeing this, you have attempted to link to the UpToDate widget but are experiencing a problem. Please visit UpToDate for more information.

‚ÄčUpToDate Patient Info offers two levels of content for patients:

  • The Basics are short overviews, written in plain language and answering the most important questions. 
  • Beyond the Basics are longer, more detailed reviews, best for readers who want detailed information and are comfortable with some medical terminology.

MedlinePlus - US National Library of Medicine


MedlinePlus is produced by the United States National Library of Medicine.  

Guidelines for Evaluating Health Information on the Web

The Medical Library Association of the United States encourages these four simple questions to be asked when assessing the reliability of online health information:

  1. Who is sponsoring the website?
  2. How often is the site updated?
  3. Does the site present facts and not opinion?
  4. Who is the intended audience?

Health on the Net search engine (HONsearch)

Health On the Net

Use HONsearch to find reliable and trustworthy results on a variety of health topics.  The websites receiving HONcode certification have been assessed by experts from the Foundation.

Information in other Languages

The Victorian Government's Health Translations Directory provides reliable health information translated into other languages. 


Geelong Hospital, Geelong Public Hospital, Public Hospital, Hospital Geelong, Barwon Health, Geelong Emergency Department

The Barwon Health website can be translated.  Click on the down arrow next to the 'Select Language' box, underneath the telephone number, to select a language from the list.

Geelong Council Community Directory

Geelong Community DirectoryUse this to find community services and groups in the Geelong region. You can also search it directly from the yellow Fast Finder search box on the top of the Library home page

Healthy Living Apps

A listing of apps for your smartphone or table from VicHealth covering such topics as healthy eating, exercise, tobacco and alcohol, mental health and more. Visit Health living apps now

Maternity Services at Barwon Health

All you need to know about pregnancy, having a baby, breastfeeding and more is available on the Maternity Services page.

The black menu bar at the top is where most of the information is located.

5 Questions to ask your Doctor

Choosing Wisely Australia logo

Choosing Wisely Australia is an organisation formed through a coalition of Australian medical colleges and societies which aims to improve healthcare by encouraging consumers and clinicians to consider whether certain tests, treatments or procedures are worthwhile where evidence shows they provide no benefit or even cause harm.

5 questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider:

         1. Do I really need this test or procedure?

Tests may help you and your doctor or other healthcare provider determine the problem. Procedures may help to treat it.

2. What are the risks?

Will there be side effects? What are the chances of getting results that aren’t accurate? Could that lead to more testing or another procedure?

3. Are there simpler, safer options?

Sometimes all you need to do is make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods or exercising more.

4. What happens if I don't do anything?

Ask if your condition might get worse — or better — if you don’t have the test or procedure right away.

5. What are the costs?

Costs can be financial, emotional or a cost of your time. Where there is a cost to the community, is the cost reasonable or is there a cheaper alternative?