Quality of Internet geriatric health information: The GeriatricWeb project

Ihab Hajjar, Sarah A. Gable, Victor P. Jenkinson, Laura T. Kane, Ruth A. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Many physicians report that Internet health information can affect their clinical decisions. Much of Internet geriatric health information (IGHI) is not controlled for quality, and there is no available process to assess the quality of IGHI used in clinical practice or in medical education. The objective of this project was to describe the development of an assessment process of IGHI and to report on the quality of existing IGHI through the GeriatricWeb project. The assessment was a trilevel process: identification, screening, and peer review. Medical librarians completed the identification of resources, and geriatric specialists conducted the screening and peer review. The peer-review process was accomplished using a developed tool (4 domains: credibility, accuracy, design, educational features; score 0-100, favorable assessment score = ≥75). More than 5,000 IGHI resources were identified, and 1,142 (22%) were advanced for screening. Of those, 246 (21%) were already peer reviewed, and 354 (31%) were advanced for peer review. Of those, 181 (51% or 20% of all those advanced for screening excluding those already peer reviewed) had a favorable assessment. Poor credibility and educational features contributed to this low quality. IGHI authored by national, federal, or academic organizations and targeted to higher academic levels was more likely to have a favorable assessment (P = 0.01). Much publicly available IGHI is of suboptimal quality, particularly with regard to credibility and educational domains. Healthcare professionals need to be aware of how to locate high-quality IGHI and how to assess the quality of available IGHI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-890
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Geriatrics
  • GeriatricWeb
  • Internet health information
  • Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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