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Healthc Inform Res > Volume 11(3); 2005 > Article
Journal of Korean Society of Medical Informatics 2005;11(3):235-246.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4258/jksmi.2005.11.3.235    Published online September 30, 2005.
Assessing the Quality of Internet Health Information Using DISCERN
Jai Hyun Park, Be Long Cho, Yong Ik Kim, Young Soo Shin, Yoon Kim
1Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Medicine, Seoul National Univ., Korea.
2Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National Univ., Korea.

OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to evaluate the quality of health information on the internet using DISCERN.

METHODS: Breast cancer, asthma, depression, obesity were selected to be the tracer conditions of the health information. To collect information about these 4 tracer conditions, we first select top 9 popular Korean websites which provide health information in January 2004. Nine websites include 6 commercial, 3 hospital. To compare quality of internet health information provided by Korean public institute and other countries', we select Healthguide in Korea, MEDLINEplus in USA and NHS direct online in UK. Overall, a total of 45 heath information provided by 10 Korean, 2 other countries' websites were evaluated by two nurses independently using DISCERN. DISCERN is a heath information quality assessment instrument consists of sixteen five-point-scale item questionnaire. The score was compared between Korean commercial and hospital websites and between Korean public institute's website and those of USA and UK.

RESULTS: Korean internet health information scored 2.0 for overall quality score. Internet health information of commercial websites scored 1.8 for overall quality score that was lower than hospital websites(2.4). Internet health information provided by Korean public institute scored 3.0 compared 3.3(MEDLINEplus) and 3.8(NHS direct online).

CONCLUSION: Internet health information in Korea hardly meets DISCERN standard that means Korean health information have a problem in quality. Especially, Internet health information of commercial websites needs relatively urgent improvement in quality.

Key Words: Consumer Health Information, Internet, Health Information, DISCERN, Quality


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