Evaluation of Web Sites for Quality and Contents of Asthma Patient Education

    Published on:
    Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2009; 1(3):278-283
    Pharmaceutical Management | doi:10.4103/0975-1483.57075

    Nagappa AN1, Sam KG2, Zarrin F, Saurabh H, Partha G, Pathak K

    1Department Pharma Management,

    2Department of Pharmacy Practice, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal Karnataka, India.


    The patients and health care professionals worldwide depend largely on the internet for health care information due to its easy ubiquitous accessibility and economy, unlike the print media. The clinicians, health care professionals and asthma patients depend on the internet resources. The authentication of information on the web is an unmet demand. There is a growing need to provide quality information to the patients who desire education in the internet. As there is no system of validation of quality of information on internet, there can be a possibility of misleading or biased information on the internet. The present study aimed to evaluate the quality and content of information of websites providing patient education of asthma. Google search engine were used to identify 192 websites providing education on asthma, among which 42 were analyzed by Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HON code); Core Educational Concepts and Health Summit Working Group (HSWG) guidelines. On the basis of core educational concepts and HSWG criteria, websites were graded as excellent, good and average. Among the 42 websites, the HON code compliance was found to be very low (19%). A majority of the sites were compliant to basic HSWG criteria while lacking in few key elements. The HSWG scores were affected by development factors, and higher among those developed from public organizations of developed countries with non commercial interest. HSWG criteria and information on missing core educational concepts of HON code must be incorporated for an enhanced quality of information for asthma patient education.

    Key words: Asthma, content validity, patient education, quality of internet information.