Send to

Choose Destination
Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2012 Nov-Dec;58(6):645-9.

Quality of internet information available to patients on websites in Portuguese.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

Author information

Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Members of Students' Committee of ACP Brazil, Santo André, SP, Brazil.



Patients and their relatives often look for information about their diseases on the internet. Diabetes mellitus (DM), systemic arterial hypertension (SAH), and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are the most prevalent in Brazil, thus, information on these pathologies is extremely searched for on the internet. For this reason, this study attempted to evaluate the quality of information available in Portuguese on the web regarding these disorders.


The first 20 websites in Portuguese for each disease through the Google® search algorithm were selected. The Discern Questionnaire (DQ) and Health on the Net (HON) were used as tools in order to evaluate the quality of information. To assess adequacy, international and Brazilian guidelines for different co-morbidities were used.


When evaluating the information content available, 45%, 95%, and 85% of pages had the definition of DM, SAH, and AMI, respectively. Only 25% of the websites regarding the three co-morbidities had specific information on diagnosis and treatment. Only 15%, 20%, and 10% of the websites had HON certification, respectively. Using the DQ approach, scores higher than 50% were obtained in 70% of the DM websites, in 65% of SAH websites, and in 55% of the AMI websites.


The available information in Portuguese on the internet regarding the three pathologies selected (DM, SAH, and AMI) is quite often inadequate and insufficient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Scientific Electronic Library Online
Loading ...
Support Center