Assessing the accuracy of Internet-based patient information for whiplash

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality and reliability of websites which provide information to patients on whiplash injury using an Internet search tool.Methods: On the application of inclusion criteria, 16 relevant websites were found that met the criteria. These were evaluated using the DISCERN tool, which assesses and scores the reliability and quality of consumer information for health problems. The maximum possible score awarded for an excellent website is 80.Results: Of the 16 websites scored by DISCERN, the majority fell below the maximum. The highest score achieved was 63 and the lowest score 30.Conclusions: The results confirm that clinicians should ensure that they direct patients only to high-value validated websites so that they access appropriate and accurate information.

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