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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 48 (2006) 10, 763 - 773

New research

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the Internet. An evaluation of Dutch-language websites and quality indicators

Y. Serdobbel, G. Pieters, S. Joos

background The Internet is an important source of information about health matters. The quality of the information about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ocd) has not been investigated. Possible indicators of quality are the discern rating tool, Google PageRank and cooperation from health care professionals.
aim To investigate the quality of the information given on Dutch-language websites relating to ocd and to determine whether the quality of the contents is correlated with site characteristics, scores on discern and Google PageRank.
method We selected 27 Dutch-language websites via Google and Ixquick and investigated the correlation between the quality of the contents measured by 4 parameters and the presence of incorrect information, site characteristics, the discern score and Google PageRank.
results The quality of the information was generally poor. The only investigated site characteristic that was found to be associated with basic criteria relating to symptoms and diagnosis was the size of the site. The discern score was significantly correlated with the quality of the information. The occurrence of incorrect information was independent of the quality of the content, site characteristics, Google PageRank and discern scores.
conclusion The quality of Dutch-language websites on the subject of ocd is inadequate. Site characteristics and Google PageRank are not good predictors of the quality of information. The discern rating tool is a potentially valuable indicator of content quality with regard to treatment options.

keywords discern, Google PageRank, information, internet, obsessivecompulsive disorder, quality