Health Answer Quality Evaluation
Project Title: Quality Evaluation of Health Answers in Social Q&A: A Comparison between Experts Librarians and Questioners
Funded by the First Year Assistant Professor (FYAP) Grant from Florida State University
PI: Sanghee Oh (Assistant Professor)
Research Assistants: Adam Worrall (Doctoral Student), Yong Jeong Yi (Doctoral Student)
In Web 2.0 environments, people have actively looked for those who have similar health-related issues and experiences on the Internet and have obtained knowledge, information, and shared personal experiences through various channels of social media, such as blogs, wikies, and social network services. With this background, the purpose of the proposed research is to evaluate the quality of health information in a social context. Social Q&A is a web-based service which allows people to ask and answer questions of one another and to solve problems in everyday life collaboratively. It is free and easy to access and use. It mimics the environments of asking and answering questions in real life. People can benefit from diverse backgrounds, knowledge, expertise and experiences of others in social Q&A. Two groups of participants – health reference librarians and questioners in social Q&A – will evaluate the quality of health answers posted the most recent week in Yahoo! Answers according to a set of proposed criteria in a 5-point rating scale. The evaluation results of the two groups of participants, ratings as well as their perceptions and reflections on the evaluation will be compared. The findings of the proposed study will benefit researchers and practitioners in the area of consumer health informatics as it provides the basic understanding of the content of health information that people share in social contexts. The findings will be used to design and develop future research of investigating the influence of health information in social contexts to people’s health care decisions.
This project is approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the Office of Research - Human Subjects Committee at the Florida State University.