The quality of English-language websites offering falls-prevention advice to older members of the public and their families

Sarah H. Whitehead, Samuel R. Nyman, Freya Broaders, Dawn A. Skelton, Chris J. Todd

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    Abstract

    Falls among older people are a major public health issue. Increasing numbers of older people are accessing the internet for health-related information, including information on falls risk and prevention. However, we are aware of no study that has assessed the quality of such websites. Using techniques for conducting systematic literature reviews, we evaluated English-language websites offering falls-related advice to members of the public. Forty-two websites were identified using popular search engines; these were assessed using evidence-based guidelines and codes of conduct on coverage of falls-related information, credibility and senior friendliness. Overall, scores were poor for coverage of falls information and credibility, although they were higher for senior friendliness. Few of the websites had been recently updated and none provided individually-tailored advice. We conclude that websites have fallen short of their potential to provide accessible, evidence-based information on the risks of falls and their prevention. © The Author(s) 2012.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)50-65
    Number of pages15
    JournalHealth Informatics Journal
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

    Keywords

    • credibility
    • falls risk and prevention
    • internet
    • older people
    • senior friendliness

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