Methods for evaluating the quality of information on health websites: Systematic Review (2001-2014)
Keywords:Methods, Standards, Evaluation, Internet, Systematic Review
The Internet is a major source of health information, but the poor quality of the information has been criticized for decades. We looked at methods for assessing the quality of health information, updating the findings of the first systematic review from 2002. We searched 9 Health Sciences, Information Sciences, and multidisciplinary databases for studies. We identified 7,718 studies and included 299. Annual publications increased from 9 (2001) to 53 (2013), with 89% from developed countries. We identified 20 areas of knowledge. Six tools have been used worldwide, but 43% of the studies did not use any of them. The methodological framework of criteria from the first review has been the same. The authors were the evaluators in 80% of the studies. This field of evaluation is expanding. No instrument simultaneously covers the evaluation criteria. There is still a need for a methodology involving experts and users and evidence-based indicators of accuracy.