More and more consumers are going online for health information. There are many advantages to using the internet: information is readily accessible, often free, may be up-to-date, and can be comprehensive and factual. On the other hand, there is a tremendous amount of content that is false, inaccurate, and misleading.
Here are some methods that can help you best use the internet to obtain health information:
Consider the source.
There are several credible websites that offer guidelines for evaluating health information on the internet. One of the most highly-respected sites, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) recommends asking the following questions when accessing health information online:
- Who pays for the site?
- Where does the information come from?
- How current is the information?
- How does the site link to other sites?
- What information does the site collect about you, and why?