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Health information on the Internet


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Health information on the Internet

  1. 1. Internet as a Source of Health Information <ul><li>Tips for evaluating websites </li></ul><ul><li>Basic features of consumer health information on the web </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul>
  2. 2. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>Finding the information is only part of the battle </li></ul><ul><li>Essentially anyone can put any information on the web, whether that information is valuable, worthless, or even dangerous </li></ul>
  3. 3. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>In particular, a web source should be evaluated for believability, the source (author), supporting evidence, logic, timeliness, and other factors </li></ul>
  4. 4. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>When we say “evaluate a website”, this discloses its name , location , and sponsorship (which can be important in determining conflicts of interest) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>Sometimes the user will know the site. For example, it might be supported by a pharmaceutical manufacturer ( whose information is regulated by the FDA ), university, or pharmacy organization, all of which generally provide good, high-quality information </li></ul><ul><li>If the user can NOT know!!! </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>There is a big difference between a site that says, &quot; I developed this site after my heart attack &quot; and one that says, &quot; This page on heart attack was developed by health professionals at the American Heart Association . &quot; </li></ul>Evaluating Information on the Web
  7. 9. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>Next, a good site is one that looks good and makes it easy to give feedback , and to obtain or retrieve information (Contact us) </li></ul><ul><li>This includes NOT having huge graphics or other files that do not add to the quality of information while taking extended time to download </li></ul>
  8. 10. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>It is also important to see how recent the information actually is. A good site will list on each page the date it was last updated </li></ul>
  9. 11. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>If that is their purpose, that is fine, but if the purpose of the site is to supposedly provide good information to the user, the overwhelming number of links should be considered to be a mark against them </li></ul>
  10. 12. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>If the above criteria are met, the reader should use traditional literature evaluation skills to determine whether the information is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear and concise , Easy to use , Fully presented , Unbiased , Relevant , Well organized , and Appropriately referenced </li></ul></ul>
  11. 13. <ul><li>Use caution if the site uses a sensational writing style (lots of exclamation points, for example.) </li></ul><ul><li>A health Web site for consumers should use simple language, not technical jargon </li></ul>Evaluating Information on the Web
  12. 14. <ul><li>Get a second opinion! Check more than one site </li></ul>Evaluating Information on the Web
  13. 15. Evaluating Information on the Web <ul><li>HON Code </li></ul><ul><li>Site – Rating Services </li></ul>
  14. 16. HON Code of Conduct ( http:// )
  15. 17. HON Code Of Conduct <ul><li>The Health on the Net Foundation has established an HONcode, which contains eight principles </li></ul><ul><li>These principles, if met, support the quality of the information provided by a particular website </li></ul>
  16. 18. HON Code Of Conduct <ul><li>Eight principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authoritative (Authors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complementarity (Supports but not replaces physician – patient relationship) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. HON Code Of Conduct <ul><li>Eight principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attribution (source of information) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Justifiability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transparency (accessible presentation, accurate email contact) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. HON Code Of Conduct <ul><li>Eight principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial disclosure (identifying funding resources) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising policy </li></ul></ul>
  19. 21. Similar Website Certificates !!
  20. 22. Site Rating Services <ul><li>None of these site-rating services are considered to have a completely comprehensive method or acceptable criteria for rating health – related websites </li></ul>