Patient education

Researching your health online has become a routine behaviour for many. According to a report published in 2019 by the Office for National Statistics, adults looking for health-related information on the internet has increased, from 54% in 2018 to 63% in 2019.

It’s difficult to tell patients not to look online to educate themselves about their health. Why not arm them with some tools to judge whether the resource they are looking at is a good one?

This 5 minute video outlines the CRAP test, a useful tool to evaluate the site you are looking at.


Is the resource from an appropriate time?

  • When was it originally published?
  • Has it been updated or revised since then?
  • Does the time frame fit your needs?


Can you depend on the information and trust it to be accurate?

  • Did the author use any evidence, and show their sources with citations and references, or list of sources?
  • Is the spelling and grammar correct?
  • Can you verify the information through other sources?


Can you trust the source the information comes from?

  • Who is the author, and what are their credentials?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor?
  • What does the URL end with?

A UK university

The UK government


.com or

A commercial organisation. These websites may intend to sell you products rather than provide unbiased information.


Mainly used by non-profit organisations


An American university

Purpose/Point of View

What is the author's motivation for publishing the resource?

  • Is the author trying to inform, persuade, sell to, or entertain you?
  • Are there advertisements or links to buy things? If so, are they marked clearly or sponsored by the resource?
  • Does the author seem objective or biased? Do they name any affiliations or conflicts of interest?


General health information resources

Covid 19 resources

Further help

Contact our Patient Information Specialist Librarian for further guidance.  More useful resources can be found on our website at Accessing online resources (under Carer and patient information).