Role of DISCERN and credibility judgment reminders on health literacy
Date of Issue2019
School of Social Sciences
DISCERN was developed as a structuralized tool to facilitate the creation and appraisal of quality written health information. It comprises of 16 questions that help health consumers evaluate written treatment information in a systematic manner. A study conducted on DISCERN training workshops showed that this is a viable tool for health consumers to use. However, given that DISCERN is available online, the effectiveness of self-learning this tool has not yet been studied. This study aimed to find out the differences in health consumers’ critical evaluation of online health treatment information after self-learning DISCERN with exposure to general credibility judgment reminders that were provided by other health consumers. This study also explored how self-learning DISCERN improves health literacy in terms of functional, interactive and critical health literacy. 108 participants completed an eHealth literacy scale and were randomly assigned to DISCERN or general reminders condition and were tasked to complete pre- and post-test website evaluation tasks. Participants were then required to complete a health literacy scale to measure their level of health literacies. Results found that there were no differences in performance and level of health literacies for both conditions. There were improvements in participants’ use of proper credibility criteria in their judgment in both conditions, although the methods (DISCERN or general reminders) did not have any differences. This points to the possibility of DISCERN being viewed as a list of general reminders when training is not done, highlighting the importance of communicating proper credibility criteria via word-of-mouth.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University