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Evaluating Internet Resources on Eating Disorders

The web has become an enormously useful tool for finding information and resources quickly and at your fingertips. Unfortunately, not all websites provide accurate, up-to-date and credible information. As a parent of an individual with an eating disorder, you will find the quality of information across websites varies widely. Below are a few questions to ask yourself as you gather information:

1. Who or what is being represented (e.g., a clinic, an individual professional, a general health website, etc.)?

2. What are the credentials of the entity being represented? Is this a highly recognized clinic? A researcher in the field?

3. Does the entity being represented have a stake in selling services or other products to viewers?

4. Could the entity be biased toward a particular viewpoint?

5. Is the website promoting an opinion or providing facts?

6. Are links or citations provided? Are these links to peer-reviewed research or other credible sources?

7. When was the website last updated? Usually, this information can be found at the bottom of the webpage. If web links don’t work, they may be outdated.

8. Does the website imply or directly blame parents as causing eating disorders?

9. Does the website indicate that families should be directly involved in all aspects of treatment for their children with eating disorders?

Adapted from:

http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/web-eval-sites.htm

http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htm

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