Quality of health information about depression on internetBMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7298.1366 (Published 02 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1366
All rapid responses
Conclusions obtained by Tomlin et al (1) are accurate, but confirm to
us that quality of health information is not yet the key question. Instead
of this, the poor and erroneous accessibility would be the main problem
related to health resources on internet.
Let me show you a simple example
obtained from the mentioned authors. In their letter, they referred to the
WHO proposal of an internet domain, “.health” to the Internet Corporation
for the Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The authors included as a
reference the web address where this WHO press release appeared (2). About
this, the date of the press release was the 13 November 2000, and the
authors included the date of access to this web resource, 21 December
2000. However, I would like to remark that four days after the press
release (17 November 2000), a WHO statement appeared to confirm that the
ICANN had rejected the WHO proposal of the top-level domain of “.health”
(3). The authors did not mention this information. Conclusion: Even when
the quality of a web resource can be the best on the world (e.g., the WHO
web pages), if the users are not able to access and to find it, what is
the key question?
Finally, I am in agreement with Delamothe regarding the
proliferation of “public anxieties about the credibility of medical
websites”, but not for other more familiar sources of information, as
newspapers, magazines, books, and radio and television programmes (4).
1.Tomlin A, Dearness KL, Geddes J. Quality of health information
about depression on internet. BMJ 2001;322:1366
2.World Health Organization. WHO proposal would raise quality of internet
health information: dot health could soon be as well known as dot com; 13
November 2000. www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-72.html; accessed 1 Jun
3.World Health Organization. DOT.HEALTH; 17 November 2000.
http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/state2000-10.html; accessed 1 Jun 2001.
4.Delamothe T. Quality of websites: kitemarking the west wind. BMJ
Competing interests: No competing interests