Quality assessment of online medical information on oral contraceptive pills in Arabic language websites, a cross-sectional study
Publication Type
Original research

Many people nowadays seek the health information they need online, as an alternative to professional medical consultation. The current manuscript aims to evaluate the quality of the online information on oral contraceptive pills in Arabic websites. In this cross-sectional study, the term “oral contraceptive pills” in the Arabic language was fed to popular search engines. A list of 45 websites was evaluated in terms of accuracy/completeness, credibility and usability. The analyzed data demonstrated that most websites provide incomplete information about important issues, like efficacy, safety, instruction for administration, and when to use backup methods, which might result in the delivery of misinformation and the consequent occurrence of unwanted pregnancy. In the majority of the websites, the articles were prepared by anonymous authors with unknown qualifications and expertise, and without providing any citations, which questions the reliability and correctness of the provided information. Moreover, most websites did not declare the source of their funding and the organization behind the websites, which opens the door for a possibility of a conflict of interest and the exploitation of the websites for marketing purposes. On the other hand, most websites fairly fulfilled the usability criteria, as they were designed with a clear, consistent and legible layout of information, with easy navigation and information finding. In conclusion, the majority of the websites in the Arabic language provide information on oral contraceptive pills, which is inadequate, none reliable, none credible and seriously vulnerable to inaccuracy and conflict of interest. 

Palestinian Medical and Pharmaceutical Journal
An-Najah National University
Publisher Country
Publication Type
Online only