2012, Volume 4, Issue 4

The Assessment of the Quality of Health Related Websites by Students of Physical Education and Physiotherapy Using the DISCERN Instrument

Ida Laudańska-Krzemińska1

1Department of Health Education, University School of Physical Education in Poznan

Author for correspondence: Ida Laudańska-Krzemińska; Department of Health Education, University School of Physical Education in Poznan; email: idalk@poczta.fm

DOI: 10.2478/v10131-012-0025-9

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Background: The purpose of the article is to characterise the assessment of the Internet sites by physical education and physiotherapy students using the DISCERN questionnaire. An attempt has also been made to indicate the determinants of the overall final assessment of individual health-related Internet sites from 2005 to 2009.
Material/Methods: The survey was carried out in 2005 and 2009 among 376 physical education and physiotherapy students at the University School of Physical Education in Poznań. The students assessed five Polish health-related websites. They used the DISCERN questionnaire to rate the quality of health information and filled in the ME & INTERNET questionnaire produced by the author.
Results: Over the analysed period students’ Internet activity significantly increased (p<0.003) in almost all the analysed areas (with the exception of chatting). Physical education and physiotherapy students differ significantly (p<0.05) in their assessment of the analysed websites. The quality of health-related websites rated by the students is above average; however, the quality of the websites related to sport and physical activity is of the average level.
Conclusions: In the students’ opinion, the majority of analysed websites did not improve over the four years. The flaws in the analysed websites noted by the students concerned references and supplementary sources.

Key words: Internet, web site, health, DISCERN, quality of health information, students