Evaluation of COVID-19 Vaccination Websites Using DISCERN and Quality Evaluation Scoring (QUEST) Tools

Prabhune Akash Gajanan, Mallavaram Aishwarya, Bhat Sachin, Pandey Samridhi, Reddy Ashitha, Hari Vinay Sri


Background: The objective of this paper was to evaluate the COVID-19 vaccine registration website across UN-recognized member states for their portal quality, reliability, Ease Use and help to the general population in informed decision making.

Methods: 12 UN member states (Countries) were selected based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria mentioned in the methodology section of this paper. PPS technique was used for sampling and selection of 12 countries from 193 UN member states. Post selection of UN member states the study used 2 step evaluation techniques, Step 1 The DISCERN checklist consists of 16 questions in three sections and is aimed to assess the reliability of information and quality of information; Step 2 The QUEST tool consists of 6 items with a subitem, Authorship, Attribution, Conflict of Interest, Complementarity, Currency, Tone. The authors developed a standard set of instructions for evaluating Vaccination Portals to bring uniformity in understanding and context setting.

Results: DISCERN tool overall reliability score on the Likert scale of 0 to 5 was 4 (SD ± 1.28). On Quality of information regarding treatment choices, the average score was 3.4 (SD ± 1.67). The QUEST tool on ease of use, concision, and comprehensiveness demonstrated an average score of 18.1 (SD ± 8.3) out of 28.

The vaccine registration portal of the Czech Republic was found to be most informative and was able to provide a piece of scientifically valid information on safety, efficacy, long-term short effects, choice of vaccine with attributable authors details. India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, South Africa scored relatively low to missing critical information on the website. The United Arab Emirates, Republic of South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, and Argentina had minor elements missing.

Conclusions: COVID-19 vaccination portals vary in the quality of information, and many were found unable to provide critical information for decision making on getting vaccinated.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/rhs.v7n3p26


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