, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 887-897
Date: 29 Jul 2009

A quality evaluation methodology for health-related websites based on a 2-tuple fuzzy linguistic approach

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Abstract

Nowadays, the patients and physicians use the health-related websites as an important information source and, therefore, it is critical the quality evaluation of health- related websites. The quality assessment of health-related websites becomes especially relevant because their use imply the existence of a wide range of threats which can affect people’s health. Additionally, website quality evaluation can also contribute to maximize the exploitation of invested resources by organizations in the development of user-perceived quality websites. But there is not yet a clear and unambiguous definition of the concept of website quality and the debate about quality evaluation on the Web remains open. In this paper, we present a qualitative and user-oriented methodology for assessing quality of health-related websites based on a 2-tuple fuzzy linguistic approach. To identify the quality criteria set, a qualitative research has been carried out using the focus groups technique. The measurement method generates linguistic quality assessments considering the visitors’ judgements with respect to those quality criteria. The combination of the linguistic judgements is implemented without a loss of information by applying a 2-tuple linguistic weighted average operator. This methodology means an improvement on quality evaluation of health websites through the commitment to put users first.