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QUALITY OF HEALTH INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET IN THE OPINION OF INTERNET USERS

M. Czerwinska

Lublin University of Technology (POLAND)
Being a global, universal communication network, the Internet has become an important distribution channel for information.
The scope of information provided on the Internet is essentially unlimited and it concerns all aspects of human activity. In recent years, a significant increase in consumer health information on the Internet has been observed. More and more the Internet is being used as a source of information on health issues.
Current statistical data and numerous empirical studies indicate that the primary manifestation of internet use in health matters is information retrieval.
Currently finding the information is not a problem. However, finding the good quality information is still problematic. The key skills of Internet users are the ability to properly assess information and to extract among them the best, most reliable and useful.
The aim of the study was to explore among Internet users, what is the consciousness of the different quality of information contained in the network. The study was conducted in the spring of 2017 on a group of 173 students of Computer Science course in Lublin University of Technology. The research tool was a questionnaire containing 20 closed-type questions. The factors that determine the respondents consider the information to be reliable were specified.

Some of specified factors were:
confidence in the source of information,
up to date information,
logical linking of information to other facts,
giving to the same information by several independent sources,
providing information on government websites, public institutions, or social trust,
authority of the author of information.

The results show that four first factors were most important for respondents. Confidence in the source of information is important for 72% of respondents, up to date information for 64%, logical linking of information to other facts for 62% and giving to the same information by several independent sources for 64%.
The other two factors were less important i.e.: providing information on government websites, public institutions, or social trust was important for 33% and authority of the author of information for 38% of respondents.
The question whether the patient is able to find good information was answered.