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Iím Not a Doctor, but I Play One on the Web: Credibility, Funding, and Interactivity Features on Health Organization Websites

Sharon Stoerger

(Submission #14)


The Web has become an important resource for individuals seeking health information. Recent literature on online health information resources suggests that interactive features can improve the search experience and may even enhance the individualís learning experience and engagement (Boulos, Maramba, & Wheeler, 2006). Some researchers have found links between credibility and interactivity, as well as between funding and interactivity. But connections among the three features were found to be lacking. This study involved a content analysis of 60 health-related websites Ė 30 womenís health organizations and 30 general health organizations - that were collected and analyzed in October and November 2006. A framework designed to assess levels of and relationships among credibility, funding, and interactivity was developed to determine the similarities and differences between the two types of sites. The analysis revealed that sites with lower credibility levels included more interactivity features, except when funding was not present.


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