Advertisement

Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 15–27 | Cite as

HON Label and DISCERN as Content Quality Indicators of Health-Related Websites

  • Yasser Khazaal
  • Anne Chatton
  • Daniele Zullino
  • Riaz Khan
Original Paper

Abstract

Content quality indicators are warranted in order to help patients and consumers to judge the content quality of health-related on-line information. The aim of the present study is to evaluate web-based information on health topics and to assess particular content quality indicators like HON (Health on the Net) and DISCERN. The present study is based on the analysis of data issued from six previous studies which assessed with a standardized tool the general and content quality (evidence-based health information) of health-related websites. Keywords related to Social phobia, bipolar disorders, pathological gambling as well as cannabis, alcohol and cocaine addiction were entered into popular World Wide Web search engines. Websites were assessed with a standardized proforma designed to rate sites on the basis of accountability, presentation, interactivity, readability and content quality (evidence-based information). “Health on the Net” (HON) quality label, and DISCERN scale scores were used to verify their efficiency as quality indicators. Of 874 websites identified, 388 were included. Despite an observed association with higher content quality scores, the HON label fails to predict good content quality websites when used in a multiple regression. Sensibility and specificity of a DISCERN score >40 in the detection of good content quality websites were, respectively, 0.45 and 0.96. The DISCERN is a potential quality indicator with a relatively high specificity. Further developments in this domain are warranted in order to facilitate the identification of high-quality information on the web by patients.

Keywords

Internet Quality indicators Health care Consumer Health-on the net DISCERN 

References

  1. 1.
    Powell J, Clarke A: The WWW of the World Wide Web: Who, what, and why? Journal of Medical Internet Research 4(1):e4, 2002PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Powell J, Clarke A: Internet information-seeking in mental health: Population survey. British Journal of Psychiatry 189:273–277, 2006PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shuyler KS, Knight KM: What are patients seeking when they turn to the Internet? Qualitative content analysis of questions asked by visitors to an orthopaedics Web site. Journal of Medical Internet Research 5(4):e24, 2003PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Khazaal Y, Chatton A, Cochand S, et al.: Internet use by patients with psychiatric disorders in search for general and medical informations. Psychiatric Quarterly 79:301–309, 2008Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chartier-Otis M, Perreault M, Belanger C: Determinants of barriers to treatment for anxiety disorders. Psychiatric Quarterly 81(2):127–138, 2010Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Griffiths KM, Christensen H: Quality of web based information on treatment of depression: Cross sectional survey. BMJ 321(7275):1511–1515, 2000PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Eysenbach G, Powell J, Kuss O, et al.: Empirical studies assessing the quality of health information for consumers on the world wide web: a systematic review. JAMA 287(20):2691–2700, 2002PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Khazaal Y, Chatton A, Cochand S, et al.: Quality of web-based information on cocaine addiction. Patient Education and Counseling 72(2):336–341, 2008PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Morel V, Chatton A, Cochand S, et al.: Quality of web-based information on bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders 110(3):265–269, 2008PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Boyer C, Selby M, Appel RD: The health on the net code of conduct for medical and health web sites. MedInfo 9 Pt 2:1163–1166, 1998Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Boyer C, Selby M, Scherrer JR, et al.: The health on the net code of conduct for medical and health Websites. Computer in Biology and Medicine 28(5):603–610, 1998PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Silberg WM, Lundberg GD, Musacchio RA: Assessing, controlling, and assuring the quality of medical information on the internet: Caveant lector et viewor–Let the reader and viewer beware. JAMA 277(15):1244–1245, 1997PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jadad AR, Gagliardi A: Rating health information on the Internet: navigating to knowledge or to Babel? JAMA 279(8):611–614, 1998PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gagliardi A, Jadad AR: Examination of instruments used to rate quality of health information on the internet: Chronicle of a voyage with an unclear destination. BMJ 324(7337):569–573, 2002PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    eEurope 2002: Quality criteria for health related websites. Journal of Medical Internet Research 4(3):E15, 2002Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Winker MA, Flanagin A, Chi-Lum B, et al.: Guidelines for medical and health information sites on the internet: Principles governing AMA web sites. American Medical Association. JAMA 283(12):1600–1606, 2000PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Charnock D, Shepperd S, Needham G, et al.: DISCERN: An instrument for judging the quality of written consumer health information on treatment choices. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 53(2):105–511, 1999PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Griffiths KM, Christensen H: The quality and accessibility of Australian depression sites on the World Wide Web. Medical Journal of Australia 176(Suppl):S97–S104, 2002PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Griffiths KM, Christensen H: Website quality indicators for consumers. Journal of Medical Internet Research 7(5):e55, 2005PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Khazaal Y, Fernandez S, Cochand S, et al.: Quality of web-based information on social phobia: A cross-sectional study. Depression and Anxiety 25(5):461–465, 2008PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fallis D, Fricke M: Indicators of accuracy of consumer health information on the Internet: A study of indicators relating to information for managing fever in children in the home. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 9(1):73–79, 2002PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Khazaal Y, Chatton A, Cochand S, et al.: Quality of web-based information on cannabis addiction. Journal of Drug Education 38(2):97–107, 2008PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Khazaal Y, Chatton A, Cochand S, et al.: Brief DISCERN, six questions for the evaluation of evidence-based content of health-related websites. Patient Education and Counseling 77(1):33–37, 2009PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Khazaal Y, Chatton A, Cochand S, et al.: Quality of web-based information on alcohol dependence. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy 17(3):248–260, 2010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Khazaal Y, Chatton A, Cochand S, et al.: Quality of web-based information on pathological gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies 24(3):357–366, 2008PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Khazaal Y, Chatton, A., Cochand, S., Coquard, O., Fernandez, S.,Khan, R., Zullino, D.: Quality of web based information on alcohol dependence. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 17(3):248–260, 2009Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hargrave D, Bartels U, Lau L, et al.: Quality of childhood brain tumour information on the internet in French language. Bull Cancer 90(7):650–655, 2003PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kisely S, Ong G, Takyar A: A survey of the quality of web based information on the treatment of schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 37(1):85–91, 2003PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nilsson-Ihrfelt E, Fjallskog ML, Blomqvist C, et al.: Breast cancer on the Internet: The quality of Swedish breast cancer websites. Breast 13(5):376–382, 2004PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Abbott VP: Web page quality: Can we measure it and what do we find? A report of exploratory findings. Journal of Public Health Medicine 22(2):191–197, 2000PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Van Ameringen M, Allgulander C, Bandelow B, et al.: WCA recommendations for the long-term treatment of social phobia. CNS Spectrum 8(8 Suppl 1):40–52, 2003PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ilic D, Bessell TL, Silagy CA, et al.: Specialized medical search-engines are no better than general search-engines in sourcing consumer information about androgen deficiency. Human Reproduction 18(3):557–561, 2003PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasser Khazaal
    • 1
  • Anne Chatton
    • 1
  • Daniele Zullino
    • 1
  • Riaz Khan
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of AddictologyGeneva University HospitalsGenevaSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations