An evaluation of bariatric Web sites for patient education and guidance.
Bariatric surgery for the treatment of obesity has become a trend, with television and music celebrities touting it as a cure. There has been an extraordinary growth rate in the number of people each year undergoing bariatric surgery, and many of these patients are obtaining their information about the surgery from the Internet. As more and more people turn to the Internet for healthcare information, the need to monitor those Web sites for accuracy and quality expands. The purpose of this study was to assess bariatric Web sites for their quality and accuracy of information. Forty Web sites were evaluated using the Health Information Technology Institute (HITI) criteria and five evaluation criteria based on guidelines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the readability of the sites also was determined. Web sites were identified for the purpose of patient education and guidance about this explosive topic.
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