2 Ways to Distinguish Valid Health Information
The importance of gaining access and making use of the proper health information is crucial in attaining the future that you deserve. As we’ve discussed in our previous post, 4 Important Health Literacy Guidelines to Know About, being aware of and improving one’s health literacy skills is the way to go towards brighter golden years.
And building up on that idea from the previous article, we’d like to take the opportunity to share more tips on how you can make sure that the health information you are checking or are referring to is up-to-date and relevant. We hope that these tips will help you not only get the desired and proper medical attention needed during the retirement years, but for you to secure on your hard-worked finances as well.
The Three A’s of Great Health Literature
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adequate health literature should have these factors (also known as the Three A’s):
Literature supported by tested data and cited sources, more likely than not, means that this information is legitimate and helpful. Accordingly, the information presented should also be done in a clear-cut manner – always considering the audience in mind.
Where the health data can be accessed from is also a significant point to consider. Everything on it – the font used, the layout of the information, the images and such – should help a viewer comprehend and see the message of the health literature. For online health resources (which may be the most accessible method to check for information), please refer to the main point below).
Good health literature contains all the necessary information on a given topic that a targeted audience needs to know. Great literature on health, moreover, also provides ways or means for an individual to accomplish certain tasks. As such, make sure that the collateral you are referring to contains a clear line(s) of recommendations or actions to do – this just may be what you need to prevent or manage a health condition!
More on Online Health Resources
Take a cautious stance when checking for health information online. The National Institute on Aging (NIH) gave out these guidelines:
Find out who sponsors/hosts the website
For starters, .gov, .edu, .org, and .com website extensions will help give you an idea if you are looking at a legitimate source.
Can you contact the sponsor?
Trustworthy websites will always have contact details shown.
Find out who wrote the content
More than finding out if you are dealing with a “real” person, you’d be able to find if the author has written other content on other sites.
Find out if the website undergoes content reviews
A website that has an editor or constantly engages with readers is more likely to be a legitimate site.
Find out when the content was written
For you to see if you have access to up-to-date information.
Is the website secured?
For you to protect your credentials from identity theft and the like.
When making a purchase (if applicable), are your consumer privacy rights protected?
Paid content, such as studies or reports, may require your credit card details.
Are the articles or content published on the website answer your health problems?
Connecting with the CDC guidelines, the health literature should also offer you ways to accomplish a task or goal.
Seeking health information will prepare you for your future. But finding out if the information is applicable and relevant for your use will lead to an even better tomorrow. We hope that the guidelines we’ve presented above will help you. Please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts, suggestions, or feedback to share.