Content and Quality of Information Provided on Canadian Dementia Websites
Keywords:dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Internet, health information
Information about dementia is important for persons with dementia (PWD) and their caregivers and the Internet has become the key source of health information. We reviewed the content and quality of information provided on Canadian websites for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
We used the terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer” in Google to identify Canadian dementia websites. The contents of websites were compared to 16 guideline recommendations provided in Canadian Consensus Conference on Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia. The quality of information provided on websites was evaluated using the DISCERN instrument. The content and quality of information provided on selected websites were then described.
Seven websites were identified, three of which provided relatively comprehensive and high-quality information on dementia. Websites frequently provided information about diagnosis of dementia, its natural course, and types of dementia, while other topics were less commonly addressed. The quality of information provided on the websites varied, and many websites had several areas where the quality of information provided was relatively low according to the DISCERN instrument.
There is variation in the content and quality of dementia websites, although some websites provide high-quality and relatively comprehensive information which would serve as a useful resource for PWD, caregivers, and healthcare providers. Improvements in the content and quality of information provided on AD websites would provide PWD and their caregivers with access to better information.
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