Health and Technology

, Volume 1, Issue 2–4, pp 71–80 | Cite as

Trust between patients and health websites: a review of the literature and derived outcomes from empirical studies

  • Laurian C. Vega
  • Tom DeHart
  • Enid MontagueEmail author
Review Paper


With the exploding growth of the web, health websites have become a dominant force in the realm of health care. Technically savvy patients have been using the web not only to self inform but to self diagnose. In this paper we examine the trust relationship between humans and health websites by outlining the existing literature on trust in health websites. A total of 49 papers were examined using a meta-analytical framework. Using this framework, each paper was coded for the antecedents and facets that comprise user trust in health websites. Our findings show that there is little consensus regarding the defining characteristics of the construct of trust in health websites. Further research in this field should focus on collaboratively defining trust and what factors affect trust in health web sites.


Trust Empirical E-health Website Internet Credibility Review Ontology 



This publication was supported by grant 1UL1RR025011 from the Clinical & Translational Science Award (CTSA) program of the National Center for Research Resources National Institutes of Health. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) provided support on this project We would also like to thank Calvin Or who helped in the initial review of this work.


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Copyright information

© IUPESM and Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.3222 Mechanical Engineering Building University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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