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Peer Review

Mayo Clinic



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Sep 20, 2008 by Health Sciences
Overview: Tools for Healthier Lives is a reference source -- a medical information site. Links to numerous health-related resources are located on the Homepage. The menu bar includes the following selections: Diseases & Conditions, Drugs & Supplements, Treatment Decisions, Healthy Living, Ask a Specialist, Health Tools, Slide Shows , Video Blogs, & Podcasts. A find-it-fast box for looking up diseases, symptoms, and emergencies is available. Readers may sign-up for a weekly newsletter, Housecall. There are links to Healthy Living Centers that include Baby’s Health and Complementary Therapies. Sections titled "What’s New" (how to burn calories while at work)and "Manage a Condition" (tools and information) offer guidance. Health Tools and Video (BMI, calorie calculators, pregnancy due date, etc.) and self-assessment tests (depression, diabetes, etc.) are provided.
Type of Material: Reference Material
Recommended Uses: Mayo Clinic's Health Information section is an ideal resource for non-health professionals seeking information on medical topics of interest to them personally. This section is also a great resource for students grades (approximately) eight through twelve and college/university level for use in school assignments dealing with any aspect of health. The Health Information section as well as the Education and Research section may prove useful to intermediate to advanced level health professions students and practitioners. Detailed overviews of issues may prove valuable as introductions or refreshers for more advanced users. In addition, health care practitioners may find this tool quite useful when recommending information resources to patients and when seeking to find more accessible explanations of difficult health care concepts.
Technical Requirements: Audio capability is required to listen to podcasts but transcripts are available.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The learner will be able to learn about numerous ways to live healthier and to manage health conditions. Learning goals of the site are dependent upon the section of the site visited. Sections such as Medical Services, Appointments, Education and Research, and Jobs deal with the Mayo Clinic as a physical facility, its teaching and research components, and possibilities for employment at clinic locations around the US. Mayo Clinic's Health Information section focuses on providing beginner to intermediate level medical information on numerous illnesses, treatments, etc.
Target Student Population: The target audience includes eighth grade (approximately) through professional level.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No prerequisite knowledge is necessary although beginner knowledge of medical terminology may be helpful.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Current, trustworthy health-related reference material. Content is vetted by leading health care providers and researchers. Numerous topics are covered in detail. Treatment recommendations are provided judiciously so that consumers are more able to realize they should see their own health care providers in many instances.
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This web site can be safely recommended for students to use in the development of healthy lifestyles and to assist in understanding health conditions.
Concerns: Some information may be too difficult for some users while too simplistic for others depending upon their needs and medical background.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: Keyword searching capabilities, alphabetical topic listings, and non-medical speak text make this site quite accessible. The site is
  • Easy to navigate
  • Has clear design
  • No bugs were detected
Concerns: Users who do not see top navigation bar on main page may be unaware that various types of information are available in different areas of the site. Site URL does not change when navigational headers are clicked. In addition, the crowded nature of options for searching on introductory pages may prove confusing.

Other Issues and Comments: This site is a trusted source of information for healthy living.