Author(s): Huang QR
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The internet has become a powerful tool to disseminate health information and there are millions of people accessing this free information for a second medical opinion. Consumers seeking information from this resource are more responsible for their own health. However, the quality of health information on the internet varies and there is no simple instrument that can effectively evaluate its quality. OBJECTIVE: This paper reviews recent studies on the validity of instruments or guidelines developed for evaluating health information. It describes government initiatives around the world in establishing quality health information and proposes an alternative way of empowering consumers with reliable health information. It emphasises the importance of the role of primary family physicians in this consumer education process. DISCUSSION: The debate over the quality of health information on the internet and the attempt to use instruments to evaluate the quality of web information are discussed. The relationship between family physicians and consumer informations in this information age is also addressed.
This article was published in Aust Fam Physician
and referenced in Journal of Health & Medical Informatics