Finding Credible Health Information About Heart Failure
Last updated: September 2022
There is a lot of health information available on the internet these days. From personal blogs and online magazines to government websites and beyond, advice about your health is available at every click.
Much of this health information can be useful, especially when you have a condition like heart failure. The symptoms are not always easy to explain to others. However, when finding health info online, it is important to know who the writers are and where they get their information. This can ensure you get the best, most up-to-date, and most credible information.
Why do I have to be careful about where I find health info?
It is great that there is so much information available online, as this can arm you with knowledge. However, this information can come from someone who has no personal knowledge of heart failure, or any medical knowledge at all.
It is common for people to want to share what worked for them. If you found something that really helped your heart failure, you would probably want to share it with others, too! But remember that everyone’s body and health history are different. What worked for someone else might not work for you, and it could actually make your condition worse.
Tips for finding reliable health information about heart failure
Use the following guidelines to assess the information you find online.
- The author’s name should be easy to find. See if you can find out information about the author. Are they a healthcare professional? Do they have experience in this field? If so, the information can probably be trusted.
- The article should list sources. Where did the author find their information? The sources listed should be from trusted websites or organizations.
- Ask yourself if the article is trying to sell something. Is the author selling you a product? If so, you should keep in mind that the information may not be based on science.
- The information should come from health research done by many experts. Research is how healthcare professionals learn about certain health topics.
- Just because the website or organization sounds credible does not mean it is. A lot of organizations have names or URLs that look trustworthy. Dig deeper to make sure they can back up their name with solid information.
If you are unsure about the information you have found online, ask your doctor for advice. Bring a printed copy or show them the site on your phone at your next appointment.
Where to look
In general, it is best to look for information from large health organizations or government websites, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some examples of websites that have good, credible health information are:
Do you have a heart failure story? Click the button below to share with our community!
Have you experienced shortness of breath in the last week?