Readability and credibility evaluation of most-visited health websites based on eBizMBA and Alexa global ranking

Shahabedin Rahmatizadeh, Saeideh Valizadeh-Haghi, Hamed Nasibi-Sis, Hossein Motahari-Nezhad
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Abstract

Introduction: Online health information is one of the most important and widely used sources of information. Currently, a significant number of individuals use the internet for health-related information to learn about health, disease, health promotion, and threats to their health.

Material and Methods: This research examined the top 15 health websites based on their popularity in eBizMBA and Alexa rank from January to February 2022. A total of 30 health websites (15 from each category) were evaluated in terms of credibility by the use of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and health on the net foundation (HON) code. Also, the readability of the mentioned websites was evaluated by the use of four readability tools.

Results: Most of the websites ranked by both Alexa and eBizMBA met the “Authority” and” Complementarity" criteria. When it comes to the readability of the 30 most visited health websites according to eBizMBA and Alexa analytics in the world, the analysis demonstrated that the readability of highly-ranked health websites was higher than the recommended level.

Conclusion: Some of the websites had deficiencies according to the HONcode and JAMA criteria, and the average readability of the websites did not meet the gold standard. Despite the increasing use of the internet for medical information, these resources' poor quality and readability remain a barrier to informed decision-making of patients.

Keywords

Patient Portals; Comprehension; Public Health Informatics; JAMA; HON; Alexa; eBizMBA; Website Evaluation; Readability;

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30699/fhi.v13i0.567

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