What Is health information quality? Ethical dimension and perception by users

For information technology professionals and informaticists alike, when handling data, the idea of “garbage in, garbage out” remains a popular refrain. Collecting data isn’t enough; its quality for future analysis, sharing, and use is also important. Similarly, with the growth of the internet, the amount of health-related information being pumped online increases, but its quality isn’t always attended to. In this 2018 paper by Al-Jefri et al., the topic of online health information quality (IQ) gets addressed in the form of a developed framework “that can be applied to websites and defines which IQ criteria are important for a website to be trustworthy and meet users’ expectations.” The authors conclude with various observations, including differences in how education, gender, and linguistic background affects users’ ability to gauge information quality, and how there seems to be an overall lack of caring about the ethical trustworthiness of online health information by the public at large.

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