EVALUATION OF THE RELIABILITY OF HEALTH INFORMATION IN SPANISH ABOUT COVID-19 ON GOOGLE
Keywords:Infodemic, Reliable information, Pandemic, Google, HONcode, COVID-19
Objectives: To evaluate the reliability of health information in Spanish on COVID-19 in Google, considering the criteria of the HONcode tool. Materials and methods: Observational cross-sectional study. Google web pages were obtained in December 2020 using 4 search terms. The reliability of the health information of the web pages was evaluated using the HONcode tool (version 3.1.3). Also, they were classified according to the source of information and procedence; the statistical analysis was performed considering as significant value for p<0,05. Results: 200 web pages in Spanish were evaluated, 16,5% had the HONcode certificate; belonging, in majority, to the WHO website (33,3%). The main source of information was "academic-professional" (30,0%). Regarding the origin, 33,0% of the web pages were Peruvian, mostly from governmental source (42,4%), but none had the HONcode certificate. HONcode certificate for the web pages were found for all search terms; however, the association was not statistically significant (p=0,876). The first page of results in Google was more likely (32,5%) to contain HONcode certified web pages (p=0,012). Conclusion: At least one of six websites provided reliable health information about COVID-19. Moreover, the presence of WHO websites in providing COVID-19 health information on Google is distinguished. Whereas this study highlights the websites of international organizations, it is necessary to strengthen communication from Peruvian government websites.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Iván Enrique Mujica Rodríguez, Luz M. Toribio Salazar, Walter H. Curioso
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