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Adequately appraising health information

In this article we introduce evaluation criteria to assess health information from the web.
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© IMPACCT consortium

Which criteria did you mention? Were they similar to what other learners proposed? In this step, we will share some generally accepted evaluation criteria.

Dalhousie University Libraries have compiled a list of evaluation criteria to assess health information on the web:

  • Credibility
  • Content
  • Disclosure
  • Links
  • Design
  • Interactivity

If you are searching for health information for yourself, a family member or friend the comprehensive criteria identified by Dalhousie University comprises a lot of aspects you may not have previously considered but that should be taken into account. While it is comprehensive many people, even if they know about it, will not use it and will google terms and look at the first link that comes up in the search.

How health professionals use tools like the Dalhousie University evaluation criteria in practice depends on the patient. Some patients will not have access to the internet, others may have access but not the skills to use it. Health professionals need to take this into account when advising people about sources of health information. To overcome some of the difficulties people with access and skills to use the internet can experience, health professionals can direct people to specific sites. This is a useful strategy. In this case health professionals can use the Dalhousie University evaluation criteria or similar to assess sites prior to recommending them.

Review your website

Review your identified website and the information provided against the criteria compiled by Dalhousie University Library.

How comprehensive was your own appraisal in comparison to that of using Dalhousie University Library criteria?

What are the implications of the difference between your initial review and the review using Dalhousie University Library criteria? Please discuss below.

© IMPACCT consortium
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