Men’s health on the web: an analysis of current resources
Men’s health research covers a broad range of topics. Men and women face different barriers to health, with men almost universally having a lower life expectancy than women. Access to high-quality information on men’s health topics is potentially an important part of engaging men with medical services. We aim to assess the quality of men’s health resources available on the internet across 4 developed countries using a tier-based rating system as well as the World Health Organisation Health on the Net (HON) standards.
The Google search engine imbedded with the Health on the Net toolbar was used to assess 357 websites across Australia, Canada, America and United Kingdom using the search term ‘men’s health’. The websites were further subdivided into 3 tiers by 2 independent investigators, with tier 1 websites defined as government or health organisation sponsored, tier 2 websites defined as being sponsored by health services such as private clinics and insurance providers, and tier 3 websites being websites that did not meet criteria for the first 2 tiers.
Overall, 28% of websites were rated as tier 1, 26% as tier 2 and 46% as tier 3. The HONcode accreditation was overall 39% of tier 1 websites. The majority of websites reviewed were in the tier 3 category, and 35% of overall websites being non-health or non-medically related.
The lack of ‘relevant’ and HONcode-accredited websites relating to men’s health should be appreciated by health care professionals.
KeywordsInternet Health information seeking Men’s health Men Adult
JT, JW and GC: protocol/project development, data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing. TN and DB: project development. NL: protocol/project development, data analysis.
This research did not receive any funding.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
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