Interventions to support consumer evaluation of online health information credibility: A scoping review

Shijie Song, Yan Zhang, Bei Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: Various interventions have been designed to help consumers better evaluate the credibility of online health information (OHI). However, assessing information credibility remained the most widely reported challenge by online health consumers. This review aims to provide an overview of major intervention approaches for improving consumer ability to evaluate OHI credibility in order to identify opportunities for future interventions. Methods: A scoping review was performed. Seven relevant scientific databases were searched to identify articles that report the design and/or evaluation of interventions to support, facilitate, or assist consumers in assessing the credibility of OHI. Thirty-one articles met the inclusion criteria. Relevant content was extracted from the articles and all codes were validated by second coders. Results: Three major intervention approaches for enhancing consumers' ability to evaluate OHI credibility were identified: educational program, algorithm, and interactive interface. The design of most interventions (particularly the credibility evaluation component) lacked the guidance of theories, and very few studies systematically evaluated their effectiveness in real online search contexts. Few interventions can provide spontaneous support to consumers while they search online. Conclusion: Our understanding of what theoretical constructs contribute to effective OHI credibility evaluation interventions and how intervention outcomes should be measured remained limited. Future efforts need to focus on the design, development, test, and evaluation of theory-guided OHI credibility evaluation interventions that are scalable, sustainable, and can provide real-time support to consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104321
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Consumer health informatics
  • Information credibility
  • Interventions
  • Online health information
  • Scoping review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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