Quality of health information on the internet has improved

The quality of health information on the internet has improved over the past few years despite concerns over poor quality and its possible consequences, concludes a study in this weeks BMJ.

In 1997, the quality of web information on managing fever in children at home was assessed and was found to be poor. Four years later, researchers in Italy re-evaluated the quality of these web pages, plus a more recent sample of pages, using the same methods.

They found 19 of the 41 (46%) original pages still existed. Of these, two had additional information. Five pages had been replaced with new content and three were the same as the original pages.

Only two (5%) of the new pages adhered to the guidelines for quality of content compared with three (8%) of the original pages. However, 18 (45%) of the new pages compared with only three (8%) of the original pages adhered to most of the guidelines.

They conclude that, although the quality of health information on the internet has improved over the past few years, monitoring health information on the internet for accuracy, completeness, and consistency is still fundamental.


Contact: Emma Wilkinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal

Page: 1

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