Evaluation of autism-related health information on the web

Grant, N., Rodger, S. and Hoffmann, T. (2015) Evaluation of autism-related health information on the web. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 28 4: 276-282. doi:10.1111/jar.12127

Author Grant, N.
Rodger, S.
Hoffmann, T.
Title Evaluation of autism-related health information on the web
Journal name Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1468-3148
Publication date 2015-07-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jar.12127
Open Access Status
Volume 28
Issue 4
Start page 276
End page 282
Total pages 7
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The Internet is a frequently accessed source of information for parents of a child with autism. To help parents make informed decisions about treatment options, websites should contain accurate information. This study aimed to evaluate the quality of information in a sample of autism-relevant websites.

Materials and Methods: Autism-related keywords were entered into three widely used search engines in April 2013 and the 20 most frequently appearing sites identified. Website quality was rated, by two independent raters, using the DISCERN tool. Websites were also coded according to the type of references/sources provided to support the intervention content presented.

Results: The mean DISCERN score was 46.5 (range 23-67.5), of a possible 80. Information about treatment risks and no treatment as an option was rarely described. Only six (30%) websites provided research references when describing intervention options.

Conclusions: Many websites did not meet criteria for quality health information and failed to cite evidence supporting described interventions. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Autism interventions
Autism spectrum disorder
Decision making
Website quality
World wide web
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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