2_The Quality of Health Information on the Internet - Purcell

2_The Quality of Health Information on the Internet - Purcell

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Editorials publication screened and acknowledging that material may contain useful information despite falling short of quality criteria.12 Such initiatives will enable the user to supplement information found by using professionally developed databases and to build a set of core skills that can be applied in the dynamic context in which health information is available. These strategies will help users of all types of information. (They cannot, however, address the persisting inequalities of access to internet resources.13) Concerns about the quantity of available infor mation and how it is delivered and accessed are valid, but these are separate from the issue of quality and should not deflect attention from the standards that need to apply across all information types and media.14 Future initiatives focusing on core standards and trans ferable skills will equip users, providers, and producers of health information to deal with rapidly developing new technologies, and the increasingly dynamic context in which health information is available. Sasha Shepperd senior research fellow Sasha.shepperd@dphpc.ox.ac.uk Deborah Charnock research fellow Department of Primary Care, University of Oxford, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford OX3 7LF We thank Peter Rose for his helpful comments on an earlier draft 1 Culver JD, Gerr F, Frumkin H. Medical information on the internet: a study of an electronic bulletin board./ Gen Intern Med 1997;12:466-70. 2 Coiera E. Information epidemics, economics, and immunity on the inter net BMJ 1998;317:1469-70. 3
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