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RESEARCH: Finding Credible Information on IM

If a remedy or treatment sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So, how can you find credible information before you integrate new integrative therapies into your healthcare?  

 

Talk to your healthcare practitioner(s).

  • Tell them about specific symptoms you are experiencing and/or health goals you would like to achieve. Ask them to recommend suitable therapies.
  • Tell them about the therapy (prescription or non-prescription) you are considering. Ask about safety, effectiveness, side effects, timeline, costs, and potential interactions with medications (prescription or non-prescription).
  • Tell them about specific symptoms you are experiencing and/or health goals you'd like to achieve. Ask them to recommend suitable therapies.
  • Ask them about the quality and results of evidence for or against potential therapies.
  • Ask them to help you interpret any scientific articles you have found.
  • If they can't answer your questions, feel free to ask them for the name of someone who may know more.

Go online.

Not all integrative medicine (or even general health) sites feature credible information. While researching online, keep asking yourself ten simple questions about online medical resources:

  • Who runs this site?
  • Who pays for the site?
  • What is the purpose of the site?
  • Where does the information come from?
  • What is the basis of the information?
  • How is the information selected?
  • How current is the information?
  • How does the site choose links to other sites?
  • What information about you does the site collect, and why?
  • How does the site manage interactions with visitors?

Questions from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)