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Your Guide to Medical Websites

How Websites Are Reviewed

Our goal is to provide accurate and unbiased reviews that are useful in helping you decide which websites are best for your needs. We uphold a rigorous process to ensure consistency in our reviews.

Each of our reviewers are required to complete an online training program. Our reviews are based on the well-known and respected T.R.A.A.P. Test for evaluating websites.

 

We have two types of reviewers: content and usability.

Content Reviewers – People with healthcare or similar training. This includes physicians, dentists, psychologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. They evaluate the quality of the content in terms of accuracy, currency, depth, and completeness.

Usability Reviewers – People experienced using the internet and websites. They evaluate the website design, ease of use, and readability.


The process begins with our staff who select websites for review. We balance our selection to cover a wide range of topics. We also consider websites suggested by our users.

Reviews are then assigned to content and usability reviewers based upon the reviewer’s interests and training. Each reviewer spends time analyzing the website following content and usability guidelines to ensure uniformity of reviews. Next the reviewers complete a review form, ranking various aspects of the website using a one-to-five star system and explaining their conclusions with written commentary.

Review Areas and Scoring

Website scores are computed by our independent reviewers during the review process. They evaluate the following areas and assign each one a score between 1-5 (5 being the superlative):

• Understandability: The degree to which the website's content is readable and easy to understand.

• Ease of Use: The website's accessibility from the vantage of an average web-user.

• Appropriateness for Intended Audience: How well the website's content is geared toward its stated audience.

• Currency: The degree to which the website's content is up-to-date and in-line with recent medical developments.

• Accuracy: The degree to which website's claims are science-based and free from bias.

• Completeness: The comprehensiveness of the website's coverage of a given topic.

• Depth of Content: The degree of detail which the website explores its various health subjects.

• Visual Appeal: The website's aesthetic appeal and related aspects of visual design.

• Navigation: The website's organization of content and resources, and how well the site guides visitors through them.

• Speed: How fast the website - and its various multimedia aspects - loads in a web browser.

 

We then bundle these areas into four larger categories.

• Readability = Understandability score

• Usability = The average of Ease of Use + Audience scores

• Content = The average of Currency + Accuracy + Completeness + Depth scores

• Web Design = The average of Visual Appeal + Navigation + Speed scores

 

Finally, we average the Readability + Usability + Content + Web Design scores to find the Recommendation score.

This final score determines if the website is considered 'Not Recommended,' 'Recommended with Reservations,' 'Recommended,' or 'Highly Recommended.' The scale we use to conclude the final recommendation is below:

• Not Recommended: 0.0 - 3.04

• Recommended with Reservations: 3.05 - 3.84

• Recommended: 3.95 - 4.44

• Highly Recommended: 4.45 - 5.0

Once all the reviews are completed the results are combined by our specially trained staff into a single cohesive review and star rating. Any discrepancies or disagreements among reviewers are resolved by our review board. The final review and star rating is then posted to our website.

We monitor websites for significant changes that may require us to do a new review. All websites are re-evaluated annually.

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