There was an interesting email exchange on the email discussion group EVIDENCE-BASED-HEALTH@JISCMAIL.AC.UK. The first correspondent (TH) described a series of workshops that are intended to help patients access and evaluate health related websites. The first workshop will focus on diabetes.
A second correspondent (SH) mentioned a similar project conducted by Allan House. I could not find details about this project on the web, but Dr. House has co-authored a book, Understanding Clinical Papers, that I should buy when I get the chance.
A third correspondent (DB) mentioned an appraisal instrument useful for webpages. It includes both usability questions (e.g., is the site accessible without a login?) and reliability questions (e.g., is it clear who has developed the web site and what their objectives are?).
This looks like an interesting and valuable thing to work on and I'm going to discuss it with some of our EBM experts here where I work.
How do we assess the quality of information? Description: This website provides a checklist of questions that you can use to assess the quality of web pages that provide health information.
You can find an earlier version of this page on my original website.