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Healthc Inform Res > Volume 6(3); 2000 > Article
Journal of Korean Society of Medical Informatics 2000;6(3):73-88.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4258/jksmi.2000.6.3.73    Published online September 30, 2000.
The evaluation of scientific reliability of medical information on www in Korea through analyzing hepatitis information
Jeong Ha Shin, Hong Gwan Seo, Chul Hwan Kim, Jae Sung Koh, Kwang Hoon Woo
1Department of Family Medicine, Inje University, Seoul Paik Hospital, Korea.
2Department of Internal Medicine, Inje University, Seoul Paik Hospital, Korea.

The purpose of this studs is to evaluate the Scientific soundness. reliability and harmfulness of medical information on world wide web in Korea. We focused this study just in "hepatitis" information, considering the high incidence of this disease in Korea. 689 web pages relating to hepatitis were collected by means of Lycos Korea search engine. and finally 182 web pages were selected. These 182 web paces were analyzed as category (western/oriental/folk medicine and as subject (prevention/diagnosis/treatment/others). Alter this analysis, these web paces were evaluated by investigators composed of two family physicians and one gastroenterologist. They analyzed the information on the criteria of "scientific soundness" "omission/. exaggeration" and "harmfulness". The major results were as follows: 1. 133 web pages (73.3%) were scientifically sound. But the web pages relating to oriental and folk medicine revealed relatively low scientific soundness. compared with western medicine wet) pages. Also, the scientific soundness revealed low especially in the web pages that mainly described the treatment of hepatitis. 2. The web pages that had the omission of essential information was 9,3% . and those of the exaggeration" was 26% These results were related to the scientific soundness. The rate of the omission was relating high in the web pages related to the folk medicine (34.6% ), and the rate of exaggeration was remarkably high in die web pages related to the oriental medicine (89.5%), Both rates of the omission (20.9%) and exaggeration (67.2%) revealed especially high in the web pages that mainly described treatment of hepatitis. 3. The web pages that had the harmful information was also had the scientific unsoundness. The rate was high in the web pages related to the folk medicine, and the rate of web pages that had direct persuasion of harmful acting was as remarkably high in the oriental medicine. Also these rates were high in the web pages that mainly describe the treatment of hepatitis. This investigation showed that the large part of internet health information about `hepatitis in korea had the scientific soundness, but also revealed there were mails information that could give unhealthy influence to internet navigators it Korea. The most powerful element that could give unhealthy influence to internet navigators was lack of the scientific soundness, and this unhealthy information mainly revealed in the oriental or folk medicine web pages. especially in the treatment information.

Key Words: Internet, Health Information, Scientific Soundness, Hepatitis
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