Our goal is to provide every reader with realistic, accurate, and science-based information backed by multiple studies.
Moreover, we aim to describe the quality, quantity, and consistency of the evidence behind a—possibly effective—intervention’s impact on a person’s health. This allows every reader to make a more informed judgement, alongside their doctor, as to the real-world applications of, and expectations from, any given intervention.
Scope of Content
We focus on natural healthcare, “the practice of seeking to protect or improve an organism’s mental and/or physical state using nonsurgical, evidence-based, interventions that do not rely on active ingredients invented by people.”
This definition allows for lifestyle interventions, synthetic equivalents of natural substances, vaccines, injections, and even some prescription medications.
Note: Healthonym is not against standard medical practice. Our focus is simply on the aforementioned factors; which—like proper diet and exercise—are often an important part of standard medical practice.
We do not permit any advertising, affiliate links, or sponsored content on our website as we believe these constitute a clear conflict of interest.
Conflicts of Interest
None of the members of our team have any professional or financial conflicts of interest with respect to our website’s content.
We strive to remove any brand names mentioned in research. Whenever possible, we replace a brand name with its generic name in our handbooks. In select cases, brand names are kept intact for illustrative purposes only.
Reviews & Endorsements
The content in our handbooks is not a review nor endorsement of any treatment option nor any outside products or services.
Personal testimonials about a treatment’s impact are subject to outlier effects, which can mislead the public. As a result we do not allow these.
Sources of Evidence
Our handbooks’ sources of evidence are limited to the following:
- Primary source and peer-reviewed medical literature published in the English language. This comprises the vast majority of our sources.
- Guidelines established by U.S., Canadian, and U.K. medical organizations.
- U.S., Canadian, and U.K. government information websites such as the FDA, CDC, and NIH.
- Information found on highly respected university or non-profit websites, such as the American Heart Association.
- English-language textbooks authored by experts that base their text on any combination of the above.
Evidence Search Strategy
For the bulk of our content, we search publicly accessible medical literature databases, such as PubMed, using broad sensitivity queries. Thereafter, we manually comb through the results to find topics related to natural healthcare. We repeat the search using topic-specific queries in order to minimize the chances we missed an important study.
Evidence Selection Strategy
We follow a hierarchy of evidence classification system that is consistent with most evidence-based practices; where data from systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of high methodological quality takes precedence.
Factors that help us reconcile the information and data on any given topic include, but aren’t limited to:
- The types of available studies.
- Ex: where applicable, data from high quality clinical trials usually takes precedence over observational studies.
- Stringency of methodology behind the research.
- Ex: when available and possible, double-masked studies are given weight over unmasked studies (all else equal, of course).
- Specificity of the data to the question at hand.
- Ex: we currently focus on the effects of treatments on adults in the general population. Therefore, data from studies on very specific populations, like adolescents, may not be taken into account.
- Search and selection strategy.
- Ex: where applicable, a systematic review’s or meta-analyses’ inclusion and exclusion criteria may be taken into account.
- Recency of publication.
- All else equal, recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses with additional—newer studies—are given more weight.
- Conflicts of interest.
- While we realize that industry-sponsored research shouldn’t automatically be dismissed, we keep the potential risks for bias in mind nevertheless.
With respect to the Effects & Evidence sections of our handbooks, we exclude data from in-vitro studies, lab animal studies, and anecdotal evidence such as case reports.
Healthonym’s handbooks are meant to reflect the best available scientific information on a given topic.
The best available scientific research does not always equate to the best possible scientific research, as the latter may be lacking.
Therefore, our handbooks are not meant to serve as recommendations for patient care. Each patient, alongside their physician, must take into account a wide variety of factors that may influence the applicability and clinical significance of the information in our handbooks.
We look for the latest research on a monthly basis according to the evidence search strategy outlined above. If, according to the evidence selection strategy discussed before, we find that newly published data supersedes the findings of prior research, we update our handbooks accordingly.
We strive for accuracy. If you believe we’ve made an error, please contact us.