Consumer Information and Education: Evaluating Websites for Credibility Presentation


Many well being web sites include informative contents. Patients doing on-line search profit from such info.

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Patients want to guage the credibility of any medical info given on-line.

Some of the knowledge on-line is inaccurate and biased as they’re based mostly on the authors’ private targets (Diviani, Putte, Giani, & van Weert, 2015).

In order to find out the credibility of the knowledge, the affected person ought to ask him/herself the next questions:

  • Who runs the web site?
  • What content material do the web site have? Is is it legitimate?
  • When was the knowledge posted or reviewed?

A affected person can simply determine a well being web site with inaccurate info. Some of the crimson flags embrace, outdated info which is way from current analysis, incorporates extreme claims of what a product can do, is sponsored by a corporation whose goal differs from yours.

In order to reply the above questions, the affected person should adhere to the next steps.

Step 1: Evaluate the Author of Web Content

Assess if the creator holds related {qualifications}.

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The credentials of the creator must be from a well-known and a extremely reputed group.

Check if the creator has written or printed in different websites or journals.

Web tackle extensions will also be used to guage the creator. For occasion, net tackle extensions reminiscent of:

  • edu point out that the creator is from an schooling establishment;
  • gov signifies that the creator is from a authorities establishment;
  • org exhibits that the creator is from a non-governmental group.

Personal web sites normally have the title of the individual within the URL. The affected person can do a little bit of analysis utilizing the title to know extra in regards to the {qualifications} of the creator.

The creator of the web site or article have to be an expert. In many credible web sites, the creator’s background and work expertise can be found to the reader. The web site also needs to point out clearly the contact info and placement of the creator. Additionally, different works achieved or printed must be clearly highlighted within the bio of the creator.

Step 2: Assess the Accuracy of the Information

After Step 1, the affected person must filter out deceptive and inaccurate info.

A affected person can check the accuracy of the knowledge given by first, verifying the citations used.

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Secondly, the affected person can analyze how the creator organizes his or her work (Sbaffi & Rowley, 2017).

One also needs to test the next to find out reliability of the knowledge:

  • Targeted viewers;
  • How nicely researched and nicely written (absence of grammar or spelling errors) the knowledge is;
  • Global and simply verifiable details and statistics;
  • Citations must be from respected sources together with peer reviewed journals, governments’ Ministries of Health and nationwide hospitals.

Once the creator has been assessed as real, the affected person has to evaluate the knowledge that has been given. Indeed, some authors might need the correct {qualifications}, however they nonetheless provide biased info.

Step 3: Determine Relevance and Objectivity of the Information

  • The content material ought to have clear ,deep and relatable explanations.
  • A affected person also needs to consider the objectivity of the knowledge offered in order to find out whether it is factual or biased.
  • Identifying the target will inform the affected person whether or not the knowledge is instructional, scientific, or advertising and marketing.
  • Reliable well being web sites include instructional info accompanied with scientific details and peer reviewed sources.
  • Some dependable web sites might also include subjective content material whose function is to mentor or to share private experiences.
  • The date of publishing can be necessary in figuring out relevance.

The info a affected person will get from the web site ought to go well with his or her wants. In order to guage objectivity, the affected person ought to word the counter-arguments made within the article, and the reasons the creator has used towards them. The date of publishing can be necessary in figuring out relevance. Recentlyt up to date web sites are extra dependable than older ones.


Diviani, N., Putte, B., Giani, S., & van Weert, J. C. M. (2015). Low well being literacy and analysis of on-line well being info: A scientific evaluation of the literature. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(5), e112.

Sbaffi, L., & Rowley, J. (2017). Trust and credibility in web-based well being info: A evaluation and agenda for future analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(6), e218.

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