Supports to make sure you're finding high-quality and trustworthy information are available. The first step is asking yourself some key questions.
Trust it or Trash it
The Trust it or Trash it tool prompts you to consider three key things about any information:
- Who said it?
- When did they say it?
- How did they know?
Look for up-to-date information from experts in the field, supported by research evidence.
Research evidence might appear as references or a bibliography at the bottom/end of a page or resource, cited within documents, or cited beside sentences or statements.
Too good to be true?
Very occasionally, conditions can be ‘cured’ or resolved with a quick fix.
However, in most cases, this takes considerable time and effort.
Be cautious of claims about one-size-fits-all solutions that can help many different conditions and diagnoses.
High-quality and effective treatments are usually tailored to individuals. They address the person’s specific conditions, needs, goals, preferences, and circumstances.
Miracle cures are probably too good to be true!
You should also be careful of free or heavily discounted treatments or programs that require you to sign up for a long period of time (.e.g. programs with a subscription).
When looking at information in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander context, check if:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities have led the research
- the research benefits communities
- it has been undertaken by qualified professionals.
Check the qualifications of the professionals providing the services.
Finding too many stories and testimonials about how good a treatment or approach is can often be a warning sign.
It may mean there is a lack of scientific research evidence to back up the claims.
Stories and testimonials are not considered balanced or good evidence as they might not tell the whole story.
They might not mention the stories of people who did not benefit or improve.
Advertising rules prevent some professional services from using testimonials. For example, in Australia Speech pathologists are not allowed to advertise or promote their services using testimonials and stories.
Online and other groups
Many people join online and other groups to hear opinions or find like-minded people.
These groups can be a great source of information and connection.
However, remember that other people’s experiences and views might not tell the whole story or be relevant for you.
Talk to a professional
Discuss any information you find with a health professional, educator, health worker or support worker.
They may be able to help you interpret the information and can discuss if it applies to your personal situation.