Answer: Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, the founder and director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing, writes: The internet is a fantastic tool for gathering accurate information on a variety of topics. As research around the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine increases, the web is especially helpful in gathering up-to-the-minute results.
However, you’re absolutely correct to be wary about certain sites and/or web-based information. Not all complementary therapy (or even general health) sites feature credible content. While researching online, keep asking yourself these simple questions about online resources:
- Who runs this site?
- Who pays for the site?
- What is the purpose of the site?
- Where does the information come from?
- How current is the information?
- How does the site choose links to other sites?
- What information about you does the site collect, and why?
Finally, you can also bookmark a few “go-to” sites that consistently offer credible information on complementary medicine, such as:
- The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which features government-sanctioned information on the safety and effectiveness of particular treatments.
- NCCAM Clearinghouse, which responds to email queries in English or Spanish and retrieves information for you from federal databases of peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature.
- CAM on PubMed, which lets you search easily for scientific studies on the use of complementary therapies for various conditions.
- The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, which contains scientific literature on dietary supplements (see "Health Information").
- The National Cancer Institute, which offers invaluable information for cancer patients and families, including information on complementary and alternative medicine (look under Cancer Topics).