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Health Information on the Internet: Accessibility, Quality, and Readability in English and Spanish

Published in the May 23/30, 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), this detailed study conducted by the Rand Corporation and California HealthCare Foundation finds that the quality of health-care information available online is decidedly uneven. For the report, researchers consulted ten English-language and four Spanish-language search engines for information on four common health conditions: breast cancer, childhood asthma, depression, and obesity. Physicians also evaluated the quality of information provided by 25 major health Websites. Among the problems noted in the report are irrelevant search returns, incomplete or contradictory information, and blurring of the line between information and advertising. The full text of the article is available at the JAMA site.
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