Evaluation of Web sites on management of pain in children

Marilyn H Oermann, Norma F Lowery, Jodee Thornley
Pain Management Nursing: Official Journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses 2003, 4 (3): 99-105
Increasingly, consumers access the Internet for information about their health problems and treatments and to learn more about their health care. Although Web sites can be valuable resources, the information may not be accurate or current. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the quality of Web sites for parents on the management of children's pain. The Health Information Technology Institute criteria were used to evaluate 40 Web sites identified from two search engines: MSN and Google. After the evaluation process was completed, the readability of the sites was determined. Of the 40 sites, 29 (72.5%) provided useful information for parents searching to educate themselves about pain management. Other sites advertised the pain management services of their facility or were not relevant for patient education. The reading levels of the Web sites ranged from grade 7.7 to 12; the mean reading grade level of the 40 sites was 10.8, too high for many consumers. This article discusses the role of the nurse in evaluating health Web sites and teaching patients how best to use the Web for their health information.

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