Introduction: People with Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) need to be able to access good quality information in order for them to be able to manage their condition (Weymann et al 2015) and to access accurate and up-to-date information about diet. Research suggests that most people with T2DM use the internet on a regular basis to find out about how to manage their condition. In addition research has shown that dietitians recommend their patients with T2DM to review specific websites (McClinchy et al 2016). Research utilising quality assessment tools that were developed to assess the quality of online information suggests that the quality of online health information accessed by people with T2DM is variable (Weymann et al 2015, Charnock et al 1999).
The aim of this study was to compare the quality of information about diet found on websites that were likely to have been accessed by people with T2DM with that found on websites recommended by dietitians to people with T2DM.
Methods: Ten websites that were identified using the search term ‘type 2 diabetes what should I eat’ and ten websites that were recommended by dietitians to people with T2DM identified in previous research (McClinchy et al 2016) were selected for analysis. Weymann’s quality criteria (Weymann et al 2015) and the tool DISCERN (Charnock et al 1999) were used to assess the quality of the information in the identified websites.
Results: Only seven from the ten websites on the dietitians’ recommended list (DRL) could be located. Both tools found similar overall agreement with the criteria. The Weymann tool had 61% agreement with quality criteria for the websites identified from the patients’ search (PS) and had 65% agreement with the quality criteria for the websites identified on the DRL, while the Discern tool had 65% agreement for the PS and 64% for the DRL. The lowest score was 31% with the Weymann tool and 33% with the Discern tool for a blog website (www.joybauer.com) identified from the PS. The highest score was for the NHS choices website www.nhs.uk, identified on both the PS and the DRL achieving 88% with the Weymann tool and 83% with the Discern tool. The lowest scoring website on the DRL was a charity diabetes education website (http://www.xperthealth.org.uk/) which scored 48% with the Weymann tool and 56% with the Discern tool.
Discussion: Despite their development being 15 years apart both tools identified similar levels of quality across the two groups of websites with both identifying a blog website from the PS having the lowest score. Not all websites that had been recommended to patients by dietitians that had been accessible the previous year were still accessible. The range of quality was greatest in the PS which also included the website with the lowest score. However the PS included the highest scoring website that had also been identified on the DRL.
Conclusion: People with T2DM are able to use effective searching methods to find information online about what to eat however they may need assistance from healthcare professionals in the identification of sources which are of the highest quality.

Charnock, D., et al. (1999). DISCERN: an instrument for judging the quality of written consumer health information on treatment choices. Journal of epidemiology and community health 53: 105-111.

McClinchy, J., Kyeremateng,C., Dickinson, A., Wills, W., Jerome, L., (2016)
What Nutrition Information are Dietitians using with their Patients who have Type 2 Diabetes 17th International Congress of Dietetics 7-10th September Granada Spain Poster Communication Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet. 20(Suppl. 1): 413 - 420
Weymann, N., et al. (2015). Quality of online information on type 2 diabetes: a cross-sectional study. Health Promotion International 30(4): 821-831.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSchool of Life and Medical Sciences Research Conference - University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Apr 20174 Apr 2017


ConferenceSchool of Life and Medical Sciences Research Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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