Scientific article

Quality of Web-based information on cocaine addiction

Published inPatient education and counseling, vol. 72, no. 2, p. 336-341
Publication date2008

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the quality of web-based information on cocaine use and addiction and to investigate potential content quality indicators. METHODS: Three keywords: cocaine, cocaine addiction and cocaine dependence were entered into two popular World Wide Web search engines. Websites were assessed with a standardized proforma designed to rate sites on the basis of accountability, presentation, interactivity, readability and content quality. "Health on the Net" (HON) quality label, and DISCERN scale scores aiding people without content expertise to assess quality of written health publication were used to verify their efficiency as quality indicators. RESULTS: Of the 120 websites identified, 61 were included. Most were commercial sites. The results of the study indicate low scores on each of the measures including content quality. A global score (the sum of accountability, interactivity, content quality and aesthetic criteria) appeared as a good content quality indicator. CONCLUSIONS: While cocaine education websites for patients are widespread, their global quality is poor. There is a need for better evidence-based information about cocaine use and addiction on the web. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The poor and variable quality of web-based information and its possible impact on physician-patient relationship argue for a serious provider for patient talk about the health information found on Internet. Internet sites could improve their content using the global score as a quality indicator.

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Computers
  • Attitude to Health
  • Authorship
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders/diagnosis/etiology/therapy
  • Comprehension
  • Disclosure
  • Esthetics
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Information Services/standards
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Internet/standards
  • Linear Models
  • Organizational Affiliation
  • Patient Education as Topic/standards
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • User-Computer Interface
Citation (ISO format)
KHAZAAL, Yasser et al. Quality of Web-based information on cocaine addiction. In: Patient education and counseling, 2008, vol. 72, n° 2, p. 336–341. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.03.002
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0738-3991

Technical informations

Creation03/04/2009 9:22:00 AM
First validation03/04/2009 9:22:00 AM
Update time03/14/2023 3:02:55 PM
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