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Title: Can generic health website quality assessment tools identify the 'best' websites for a specific health topic? : a study of orthognathic treatment websites
Author: Mahdmina, Ayeh
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 4466
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2015
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Introduction: Health website quality assessment tools are designed to guide patients to high quality websites and away from those of poor quality. However, the ability of such tools to do this successfully is unclear. Aim: To assess the applicability of three recognised generic health website quality assessment tools (LIDA, DISCERN and HWAT 3.0) to a specific health topic by ascertaining whether they can identify the highest quality orthognathic websites. Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the correlation between the quality scorings of 100 orthognathic websites produced from a Google search, when the websites were examined using these three tools. The rankings of the 100 websites produced with each tool were also compared with quality scores from a newly developed (AM) checklist which had been specifically developed for the assessment of orthognathic context. The AM checklist was used as a standard to assess if orthognathic websites contained all of the information perceived by clinicians as necessary for their patients. Results: DISCERN was the only tool to identify correctly the highest quality orthognathic websites. A strong correlation was found between DISCERN and the AM checklist (r = 0.816 p < 0.01) but no other correlations were found. The AM checklist and LIDA both had good inter- and intra-examiner reliability. However, the reliability of the HWAT 3.0 and DISCERN tools was moderate. The AM checklist and DISCERN indicated that UK websites were of significantly better quality than US websites. No significant differences were found between the quality of websites according to the Google ranking and suffix. Blogs had the highest overall scores and were comparable to websites of hospitals and professional organisations. Conclusions: Generic health website quality assessment tools require further development to increase their reliability and ability to identify high quality websites. UK orthognathic websites can be used as a marker of high quality compared with US websites but the Google ranking and suffix are poor quality markers. Blogs should be investigated further as a possible useful resource of information for orthognathic patients.
Supervisor: Harris, R. ; Flannigan, N. ; Burnside, G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.D.Sci.) Qualification Level: Doctoral