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Healthc Inform Res > Volume 7(4); 2001 > Article
Journal of Korean Society of Medical Informatics 2001;7(4):11-20.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4258/jksmi.2001.7.4.11    Published online December 31, 2001.
The Analysis of Health Promotion Information On the Internet
Young Sung Lee, Young Hee Ju, Min Kyung Im, Sang Woo O
1National Cancer Center Research Institute Cancer Information Branch, Korea.
2Department of Family Medicine, In-je University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Korea.
3Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Korea.

The recent widespread use of computers and improvement of the internet technology have made people of every walk of life get plenty of information of various contents, including health and medicine. However, the efforts to verify and evaluate those Internet-based information fall far short of the ever-increasing number of web-sites dealing with health and medicine. These efforts are particularly important for the web-sites regarding health promotion, because they can render the general population to nourish their potentials to lead healthy lives, and provide wide variety of information, including every steps of natural courses of diseases till death. In the present study, a total of 100 web-sites regarding health promotion were selected through six domestic major searching engines, considering the contents and methods of evaluation. The evaluations were performed as to the 8 items comprising 3 fields, or the owners' credentials, transparency of sponsorship, and information publication form, along with analyses of the conditions of information-providing agencies and forms of providing on-line education program for health promotion. Results have shown that the average of the total marks of evaluation was 4.52 out of 8. The web-sites with points of +1SD from the average or more (6~8 points) accounted for 19% and those with -1SD from the average or less (~3 points) accounted for 20%. Only 2% of the total web-sites evaluated showed full marks (8 points). As to the agencies providing information, relevant social organizations, including corporations, accounted for the largest part (25%), followed by joint-stock companies and sales companies, which accounted for 24%. These figures represent a maximum of 6-fold as much as information provided by organizations with public confidence, such as institutes, hospitals, and public health centers. In addition, up to 81% of the on-line education programs were provided in the form of usual text, suggesting the lack of appropriate technology of providing information. On the other hand, the number of web-sites on health promotion/risk factors showed differences according to the searching engines used, and the number of those regarding health promotion was larger than that regarding risk factors for health. There was no single web-site searched commonly by five or six engines, and most web-sites were searched by only one engine. These results show that continuous systematic controls and evaluations are needed for the internet web-sites on health promotion, and that these require government-driven analyses of information contents, standardization, and comprehensive support.

Key Words: Health Promotion, Internet Evaluation


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