Is the Lida website assessment tool valid?

InformationWe think so!

We have gathered a lot of evidence from user surveys, expert reviews, hands-on testing in clinical settings and formal usability studies over the years.

Much of this work was conducted in the context of the website UK Prostate Link which was launched in 2006 and uses Lida scores as the basis of ranking search engine output.

Some of these evaluations we carried out ourselves and for others we brought in independent cancer information organisations.

The results consistently showed that users of UK Prostate Link were more likely to find reliable answers to their questions about prostate cancer than users of conventional search engines such as Google.

What advantages does Lida have over other methods?

  1. As far as we know, Lida is the only website validation instrument that deals appropriately with each of the three domains of quality.
  2. Compared with most other approaches, it is user-friendly, providing clear instructions on how to interpret its criteria.  Thus, it less open to misinterpretation.
  3. Finally, we believe that it is valid, showing inter-rater consistency.

Validity of Lida

We assessed the validity of Lida by selecting 40 major websites about prostate cancer and having two assessors apply Lida to ranking their quality.  We measured the correlation between the rank order that each assessor generated and found that it was highly statistically significant (p < 0.00001).  This suggests that Lida has good internal validity.

External validity is a more difficult issue, of course, as this would require an objective measure of quality against which to compare Lida assessments.  However, the increasing use of Lida in combination with other assessment tools cited in the literature below strongly suggests that it has external validity.

We welcome further work to investigate the validity of Lida.

Are you a Lida user?

Are you researching the quality of information on the web?  What do you think of Lida? Get in touch to tell us your experiences of using the Lida tool, and find out from others how they went about it.

Other studies

Lida has been used in a number of studies as a measure of health information quality.  Three themes have emerged from this research:

  1. An observed correlation between Lida scores and Flesch Reading Ease scores
  2. No correlation between Lida scores and conventional search engine rank.
  3. Most websites continue to score low on the Reliability domain, even though some have good Accessibility and Usability scores.
  4. Recent evidence of an improvement in the quality of websites about a range of health topics, including oral health, cardiovascular disease, paediatrics, cancer, orthopaedics and urology.

Our tentative conclusions from this work are that Lida is practical instrument for measuring information quality without special training, and is transferable to different specialties.

It may also suggest that search engine rank is not a good indicator of information quality.

Lida Bibliography

A number of research groups have picked up on Lida and used it as a means of systematically assessing the quality of web information across a number of specialties, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, opthalmology and veterinary medicine.

The articles are listed below with the most recent first:

  1. A comparison of the quality of online information about total knee arthroplasty available in Turkish and English: a cross-sectional study. Küçükdurmaz F, Mutlu S, Mutlu H, Parvizi J. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2015;49(4):370-4. doi: 10.3944/AOTT.2015.14.0291. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26312462
  2. Prostate Cancer on the Web-Expedient Tool for Patients’ Decision-Making? Borgmann H, Wölm JH, Vallo S et al. J Cancer Educ. 2015 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26234650
  3. Reliability, Readability and Quality of Online Information about Femoracetabular Impingement. Küçükdurmaz, Gomez MM, Secrist E, Parvizi J. Arch Bone Jt Surg. 2015 Jul;3(3):163-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26213699
  4. Transrectal Ultrasound Guided Biopsy of the Prostate: Is the Information Accessible, Usable, Reliable and Readable? Redmond CE, Nason GJ, Kelly ME et al. Curr Urol. 2015 May;8(1):32-7. doi: 10.1159/000365686. Epub 2015 May 20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26195961
  5. Assessing the standards of online oral hygiene instructions for patients with fixed orthodontic appliances. Verhoef WA, Livas C, Delli K, Ren Y. J Am Dent Assoc. 2015 May;146(5):310-7. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2015.01.004. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25925523
  6. Information available on the internet about pain after orthognathic surgery: a careful review. Pithon MM, dos Santos ES(1. Dental Press J Orthod. 2014 Nov-Dec;19(6):86-92. doi:
    10.1590/2176-9451.19.6.086-092.oar. Epub 2014 Dec 1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25628084
  7. Content and quality of information websites about congenital heart defects following a prenatal diagnosis. Carlsson T(1), Bergman G, Karlsson AM, Mattsson E. Interact J Med Res. 2015 Jan 21;4(1):e4. doi: 10.2196/ijmr.3819. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25608457
  8. A comparison of the quality of the information available on the internet on interventional radiology, vascular surgery, and cardiology. Alsafi A, Kaya G, Patel H, Hamady MS. J Postgrad Med. 2013 Jan-Mar;59(1):69-75. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23525067.
  9. The quality and readability of colorectal cancer information on the internet. Grewal P, Alagaratnam S. Int J Surg. 2013 Mar 19. doi:pii: S1743-9191(13)00081-2. 10.1016/j.ijsu.2013.03.006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23523948
  10. Quality evaluation of the available Internet information regarding pain during orthodontic treatment. Livas C, Delli K, Ren Y. Angle Orthod. 2012 Oct 1 [Epub ahead of print]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23025687
  11. Quality of health information on the web: The case of Hebrew language websites about oral contraceptives.
    Neumark Y, Flum L, Lopez-Quintero C, Shtarkshall R. Isr J Health Policy Res. 2012 Sep 24;1(1):38. [Epub ahead of print].  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23006798
  12. Quality of vascular surgery web sites on the internet. Grewal P, Williams B et al.  J Vasc Surg 2012; Jul 14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22801107
  13. Coronary Angioplasty and the internet:  What can patients searching online expect to find? Kirthi V, Modi BN. J Interve Cardio 2012, Jun 7.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22672356
  14. Analysis of the Quality of Information Obtained About Uterine Artery Embolization From the Internet. Tavare AN, Alsafi A, Hamady MS. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2012 Jan 25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22274841
  15. Your patient information website: how good is it? Soobrah R, Clark SK. Colorectal Dis. 2012 Mar;14(3):e90-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2011.02792.x. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21883807
  16. Quality of information available on the World Wide Web for patients undergoing thyroidectomy: review. Muthukumarasamy S, Osmani Z, Sharpe A, England RJ. J Laryngol Otol. 2012 Feb;126(2):116-9. Epub 2011 Aug 26. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21867585
  17. [The quality of information available on the internet about aortic aneurysm and its endovascular treatment]. San Norberto EM, Taylor J, Salvador R, Revilla A, Merino B, Vaquero C. Rev Esp Cardiol. 2011 Oct;64(10):869-75. Epub 2011 Jul 22. Spanish. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21782311
  18. Internet resources cataloguing inherited disorders in dogs. Nicholas FW, Crook A, Sargan DR. Vet J. 2011 Aug;189(2):132-5. Epub 2011 Jul 6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21737319
  19. Orthodontic extractions and the Internet: quality of online information available to the public. Patel U, Cobourne MT. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2011 Feb;139(2):e103-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21300220
  20. Role of information available over the internet: what are the parents of children undergoing tonsillectomy likely to find? Roshan A, Agarwal S, England RJ. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2008; Oct;90(7):601-5. Epub 2008 Aug 12 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18701014
Category: LIDA