As a user of this site it is important that you are informed about our
editorial processes and guidelines. We want you to know that we value your
use of the site and want to earn your trust. As a health care
organization, we strive to provide you with accurate, comprehensive, and
reliable health information that you can use to inform yourself as
patients or caregivers. We have not provided health information written
for a doctor or in medical terms, unless you are accessing a professional
health content site.
The health information we provide for consumers is written specifically
for consumers and patients to understand symptoms, a diagnosis, or a
complicated illness. In addition, we provide you with a multitude of
resources that supply you with more information on community self-help
groups and access to content that can help you find the same clinical
research that your doctor or clinician uses.
We feel it is critical that you know about our editorial processes so
you can judge, on your own, the type of health information we provide on
this site. The following sections provide detailed information on who
provides the information for us, how the health information is evaluated,
who writes the information, and how we use sponsored health information.
In addition, we outline our conflict of interest policy.
It is important you understand that the health information content
offered on this site cannot replace nor is it meant to represent a health
care patient-provider relationship. You must always consult with a
professional for diagnosis and treatment for specific health
What you can expect from us
Who provides health information for us
- We will post, whenever possible, who wrote the material, where it
came from, who reviewed it, and when it was written and last updated.
- We have not presented to you, to our knowledge, any health
information that is false, misleading, or has claims of therapeutic
benefit without sufficient clinical support.
- We do not, to our knowledge, allow health information on this site
that promotes ineffective or dangerous products.
- We separate our health information from all forms of advertising and
sponsorship so you can understand or see the difference between an
advertisement and content.
- We will make every effort to show to you all relevant information
about sponsored content so you can evaluate and create an opinion on
- It is not our intention to gather information about you on what
health information you look at that could be used to identify you.
Most of the health information you see on this site is provided by
LaurusHealth.com, a consumer-oriented health information website owned by
VHA, Inc. and operated by HEALTHvision, Inc. Information on health
problems, including symptoms of illness, overviews of disease, and
first-aid advice is brought to you by Healthwise, Inc. Healthwise supplies
consumer-oriented health information on more than 500 health problems that
is easy to read and understand. Our health news is provided by Reuters
News Service, one of the most respected and reliable Internet news
services in the world. An independent company called Rockhill Press writes
the health articles in Healthy Living exclusively for
How we evaluate the health information you
We strive to review and evaluate the health information that is
provided here on this site and make every effort to ensure that it is
clinically and medically accurate, reliable, complete, and timely.
How we use sponsored health information
In some instances, we allow companies to sponsor health information
topics or specific pages of content on our site. We do not intend to allow
sponsors to influence content. However, sponsored programs that appear on
the site may contain information that the sponsor writes or has written
for it. In these and in all cases where sponsorship appears, our goal is
to provide you with the following information, when it relates to the
Who writes the health information
- The sponsor's involvement in selecting the content that is shown.
- The sponsor's involvement in preparing the content that is shown.
- The sponsor's involvement in search engine priority listing of
- The sponsor's involvement in product listings.
- The sponsor's involvement in other preferences or presentations of
information that appear before users.
- A description of revenues or fees that are generated from sponsored
We strive to make clear who wrote the material you look at and other
vital details that are essential for you to make an informed opinion on
the material we provide. In most cases, you will find the following
How we identify conflicts of interest
- The author's name, credentials, and/or qualifications;
- The source of the material (i.e., the individual or organization
where the information comes from);
- The date of creation or initial publication;
- Any statements of permission to reprint the material;
- The date of last update or review; and
- The names of expert reviewers or review board members.
As a consumer of this site, you deserve to know if any of the authors
who publish articles and other information have a conflict of interest
with the topic they are writing about. A conflict of interest takes place
when an author, reviewer, or editor has a bias toward the material he or
she is writing, evaluating, or editing. This bias causes a conflict when
it influences the person's ability to render neutral opinions, research,
comments, or judgments. Sample conflicts of interest in the health care
field are in the area of scientific research and specific financial
relationships or exclusive affiliations with companies or organizations
that have potential influence over that research; for example, a medical
researcher who conducts medical research on a drug and is paid by the
pharmaceutical company that manufacturers that drug. Conflicts can
additionally exist through employment, stock ownership, family
affiliations, consulting arrangements, and academic competition.
It is our goal to provide as much unbiased health information content
as possible to you. However, there will be instances where authors,
reviewers, and editors have existing financial relationships or
affiliations that may hint at a conflict of interest. We will make every
effort to disclose these conflicts so you can make an educated decision
about how that conflict may influence the information you're viewing.
The conflict of interest policies set forth here are modeled after the
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
These are our conflict of interest goals:
We welcome your feedback
- We ask all authors who publish information on our site to sign a
conflict of interest agreement for each document they write.
- We ask authors to tell us if a conflict exists, and if one does to
detail how that conflict influences the material; for example, if the
author has a financial relationship or affiliation with a company or
holds stock in a company that he or she is writing about.
- We ask editors or reviewers to disclose conflicts of interest and
request that they disqualify themselves from reviewing or editing
specific material if there is a potential conflict.
- We strive to post any conflict of interest along side the
information we publish to give details on the conflict so you can decide
if the information you read is influenced.
- We ask the companies from which we license health information to
tell us if any of their authors have conflicts of interest, and if so to
provide that information to us so we can inform you.
- We will not intentionally publish any health information or research
articles that have been directly influenced by an author's research so
much that it skews results toward being favorable to an author's
financial relationships or affiliations.
- If fraud or plagiarism is discovered, we will immediately bring it
to the attention of the appropriate individuals and organizations and
remove the information from our site until an investigation is
We want to know what you think about the health information we provide
to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please use our Contact Us