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Discerning quality health information on the Web from the perspective of consumers: insights from Korean consumers in the U.S.

Yong-Jeong Yi, Lorri Mon and Besiki Stvilia

(Submission #63)


Abstract

Consumer health information on the Web involves considerable problems because of unreliable and even hazardous information; therefore consumers need to have the ability to discern reliable information. The bottom-up approach, reflecting the perception of consumers, is likely to be more effective in helping consumers to discern high quality information than a top-down approach, which presents the quality criteria created by information providers. The purpose of the study is to investigate the consumersí own criteria for assessing health information on the Web in order to pursue the following two goals: 1) to gain insights that information providers may use for disseminating credible information in a way that consumers can perceive easily, and 2) to identify significant quality criteria that consumers may miss, the study can suggest what to teach consumers regarding the quality of information and what factors consumers need to consider when selecting reliable information. As the follow-up of previous research, the present study conducted an intensive interview method in order to find significant quality criteria or perceptions which could not be answered by the prior survey. The 20 interviewees primarily consisted of patients and caregivers who have been interested in evaluating the quality of consumer health information. According to the findings of the study, some factors that consumers used to judge high quality were: applicability, experience, authority, originality, sympathy, clear reference, duplication, and detail. For determining a low quality source, interviewees considered the following: bias for a commercial purpose, non-specific, below the criteria provided by an authoritative org., not -applicable, and hard to access. The study discussed the gap of quality criteria between third parties or information providers, and the different perspectives between consumers regarding quality criteria, e.g., different views of health professionalsí authority and government resources.

File(s)

 [Additional materials, author bios (DOC)]  

  
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