Ask the right questions.
Information empowers, but finding trustworthy information – especially online – can be challenging and frustrating. The amount of information can be overwhelming, and it is often difficult to figure out what is real. It is important to maintain a healthy amount of skepticism and critical eye as you conduct your research. Here are five quick questions to ask yourself when evaluating the content of a health website, provided by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
Who? Who runs the Web site? Can you trust them?
What? What does the site say? Do its claims seem too good to be true?
When? When was the information posted or reviewed? Is it up-to-date?
Where? Where did the information come from? Is it based on scientific research?
Why? Why does the site exist? Is it selling something?
Researching and Evaluating Integrative and Complementary Medicine
At Caring Ambassadors, we encourage you to take an integrative approach to your health, exploring and using standard, western medicine along with complementary and lifestyle approaches to help you achieve optimal health and well-being.
A true integrative approach to health and medicine is always evidence-based, but the term “integrative” has at times been used irresponsibly or incorrectly, and some of what is published on the web about integrative health can be misleading. When researching integrative health approaches, complementary medicine, mind-body practices, and lifestyle and behavioral changes, evaluate the information you find carefully and critically.
For credible, evidence-based information on the topic of integrative and complementary medicine, start with the resources listed below:
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Know the Science web resource
- National Cancer Institute, Office of Cancer and Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health member institutions
- A subset of PubMed is devoted to complementary medicine research. Visit the NCCIH’s CAM on PubMed page to learn more.
TIP: www.trustortrash.org is an online, interactive tool for evaluating websites and health information found online.
Bookmark this site, and pull it up when you need help determining whether online information is credible.