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Evaluation Criteria for Health Websites: Critical Review

Shirin Ayani, Frahnaz Sadoughi, Reza Jabari, Khadijeh Moulaei, Hassan Ashrafi-Rizi



Introduction: The significant usage of health websites and their roles as diagnostic and therapeutic tools have increased the importance of evaluating their credibility. Health websites are evaluated using the criteria introduced in the health guidelines; therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the adequacy of these criteria.

Materials and Methods: In this critical review study, the guidelines for "Health Websites Evaluation" and "Website Evaluation in Other Subject Areas" were extracted using sensitive keywords from valid databases, classification, comparison and content analyses were performed using scientific methods designed in this study.

Results: The results indicate that in terms of various components of health websites, the evaluation criteria are not adequate. Note that health website evaluation criteria are designed based on the evaluation criteria of other subject areas. Therefore, the criteria share problems similar to those of the guidelines for other subject areas, and they ignore the evaluation of the specific features of health websites. It is necessary to have reliable and accurate guidelines to evaluate health websites.

Conclusion: One of the most significant advantages of these guidelines is that using software provides an infrastructure for the automatic evaluation of health websites. Thus, the evaluation results will be available to the general public in the form of a website ranking.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30699/fhi.v9i1.235


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