An evaluation of web-based information.
Murphy R., Frost S., Webster P., Schmidt U.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the quality of web-based information on the treatment of eating disorders and to investigate potential indicators of content quality. METHOD: Two search engines were queried to obtain 15 commonly accessed websites about eating disorders. Two reviewers evaluated the characteristics, quality of content, and accountability of the sites. Intercorrelations between variables were calculated. RESULTS: The overall quality of the sites was poor based on the outcome measures used. All quality of content measures correlated with a measure of accountability (Silberg, W.M., Lundberg, G.D., & Mussachio, R.A., 1993). DISCUSSION: There is a lack of quality information on the treatment of eating disorders on the web. Although accountability criteria may be useful indicators of content quality, there is a need to investigate whether these can be usefully applied to other mental health areas.