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Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol. 2009 Nov-Dec;44(6):342-8. doi: 10.1016/j.regg.2009.07.001.

[Accessibility of web sites on health for the elderly].

[Article in Spanish]

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Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Granada, España.



The development and dissemination of the Internet offers new opportunities to meet the needs of older people. To develop this potential, access to the available resources must be guaranteed. Our aims are: (1) To identify web sites in Spanish with information on healthcare for older adults and (2) to assess the accessibility of the web sites selected.


We performed a descriptive study of compliance with accessibility criteria among web sites on healthcare for the elderly. To select the sites with health information aimed at older people, a search method with keywords was used in two of the major Internet search engines. The descriptive study was carried out by using a specially-designed questionnaire. The web sites were independently evaluated by three evaluators. The dimensions studied were visual, motor, cognitive, auditory and global factors. Accessibility A, AA and AAA was evaluated with the TAW test. A descriptive analysis of compliance was carried out and the kappa coefficient was estimated to evaluate the concordance between evaluators (Fleiss' criteria), while the number of errors was calculated according to the TAW criteria.


A list of 35 web sites was created. Most of the web sites had a Spanish web hosting provider (74.3%), two sites were from United States (5.7%) and the remainder were from Latin America (Cuba 1, Argentina 2, Mexico 2 and Uruguay 1). A high degree of accessibility was found for the IMSERSO Portal, the Disc@PNET portal, the section on public health protection of the Spanish Ministry of Health web site and the Community of Madrid web site. Fourteen web sites complied with more than 42% of the items evaluated. The dimension with the lowest compliance was cognitive features. When the TAW tool was applied, only the IMSERSO web site fulfilled all the criteria A, AA and AAA.


The present study obtained a accessibility ranking of web sites with information on health for seniors. Accessibility level varied among these web sites.

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