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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4815285, 6 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Quality and Readability of Health Information Websites Identified through India’s Major Search Engines

1Panjab University, Chandigarh 160014, India
2Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh 160012, India

Received 22 September 2015; Revised 9 February 2016; Accepted 2 March 2016

Academic Editor: Gerardo E. Guillén Nieto

Copyright © 2016 S. Raj et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The available health information on websites should be reliable and accurate in order to make informed decisions by community. This study was done to assess the quality and readability of health information websites on World Wide Web in India. Methods. This cross-sectional study was carried out in June 2014. The key words “Health” and “Information” were used on search engines “Google” and “Yahoo.” Out of 50 websites (25 from each search engines), after exclusion, 32 websites were evaluated. LIDA tool was used to assess the quality whereas the readability was assessed using Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES), Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL), and SMOG. Results. Forty percent of websites () were sponsored by government. Health On the Net Code of Conduct (HONcode) certification was present on 50% () of websites. The mean LIDA score (74.31) was average. Only 3 websites scored high on LIDA score. Only five had readability scores at recommended sixth-grade level. Conclusion. Most health information websites had average quality especially in terms of usability and reliability and were written at high readability levels. Efforts are needed to develop the health information websites which can help general population in informed decision making.