This study aims to assess and compare melanoma information quality in Hungarian, Czech, and German languages on the Internet. We used country-specific Google search engines to retrieve the first 25 uniform resource locators (URLs) by searching the word “melanoma” in the given language. Using the automated toolbar of Health On the Net Foundation (HON), we assessed each Web site for HON certification based on the Health On the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HONcode). Information quality was determined using a 35-point checklist created by Bichakjian et al. (J Clin Oncol 20:134–141, 2002), with the NCCN melanoma guideline as control. After excluding duplicate and link-only pages, a total of 24 Hungarian, 18 Czech, and 21 German melanoma Web sites were evaluated and rated. The amount of HON certified Web sites was the highest among the German Web pages (19 %). One of the retrieved Hungarian and none of the Czech Web sites were HON certified. We found the highest number of Web sites containing comprehensive, correct melanoma information in German language, followed by Czech and Hungarian pages. Although the majority of the Web sites lacked data about incidence, risk factors, prevention, treatment, work-up, and follow-up, at least one comprehensive, high-quality Web site was found in each language. Several Web sites contained incorrect information in each language. While a small amount of comprehensive, quality melanoma-related Web sites was found, most of the retrieved Web content lacked basic disease information, such as risk factors, prevention, and treatment. A significant number of Web sites contained malinformation. In case of melanoma, primary and secondary preventions are of especially high importance; therefore, the improvement of disease information quality available on the Internet is necessary.
Melanoma Information quality Internet Primary and secondary prevention
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This study was supported by the European Union and co-funded by the European Social Fund. Project title was “Telemedicine-focused research activities on the field of mathematics, informatics and medical sciences,” with project number: TÁMOP-4.2.2.A-11/1/KONV-2012-0073.
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