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About Web Resource Ratings

There is a lot of health information or "Web Resources" freely available on the internet. A Web Resource is any item you find online that you can watch, read, listen to, or interact with, such as videos, fact sheets and online quizzes. Many resources are consumer-friendly, but it's often difficult to know which ones have credible information, based on scientific research. Web Resource Ratings do the homework for you, assessing the quality of health information available online and presenting our assessment using a 5-star rating scale.

There are three stages of Web Resource Rating:

  1. Assessing inclusion of websites
    Websites we include must be:
    • Not directly funded by a company trying to sell you a product or service
    • Relevant to optimal aging
    • Intended for citizens, or include content intended for citizens
    • Free access
  2. Assessing inclusion of Web Resources from included websites
    Web Resources we review must be:
    • Not directly funded by a company trying to sell you a product or service
    • Relevant to optimal aging
    • Intended for citizens
    • Less than 5 years of age

  3. Assessing quality of included Web Resources
    Web Resources are rated for quality with three criteria:
    • Evidence-based: Is this information reliable, based on scientific research?
    • Transparency: Is it clear who developed the resource and how?
    • Usability: Is the information easy to understand and easy to use?

Each Web Resource Rating also provides a summary of the content, including any information that you can act on related to optimal aging.

If you cannot find a website or Web Resource Rating that you are looking for, check out our list of excluded websites. If you still can’t find it, let us know; we may be rating it now!

Recent Web Resource Ratings

  • Driving Your Own Vehicle

    British Columbia Family & Social Supports
    Driving during old age poses safety concerns for everyone in the car and there comes a time when seniors must evaluate their our driving capacities. This web page offers many resources for seniors who are considering their options, such as driving retirement, driver fitness tests and discounts for senior drivers.
  • Driver Safety

    British Columbia Family & Social Supports
    Although seniors are experienced drivers, age-related challenges may alter their driving abilities. This webpage shares many resources and services to help seniors on the road and ensure that they are being safe.
  • Public transit

    British Columbia Family & Social Supports
    If you are over 65 years old and live in British Columbia, you qualify for a senior discount on public transit. Learn about your options when it comes to transportation and find information for disability accommodations as well.
  • Be prudent with medications

    Canada Safety Council
    Today’s seniors are using multiple medications at the same time and it can become difficult to manage all medications due to potential adverse reactions. This resource shares some tips on how to manage medications while also practicing safety precautions.
  • A Guide for the Caregiver

    Government of Manitoba - Health, Seniors and Active Living
    Taking on the role of caregiver for a senior can be a mentally and physically draining task. Use this resource as a guide to help you navigate your new role. Topics covered include counselling services, housing, hospitalization, end of life care, legal matters and other support services.
  • What are the risks of vitamin D deficiency?

    Mayo Clinic
    Vitamin D deficiency occurs when you do not have enough vitamin D in your body. It can cause your bones to become brittle. Sunlight can help you get enough vitamin D. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your vitamin D level.

Understanding our star rating system

Each Web Resource is rated using a star system on a scale from 0-5. The more stars, the higher the quality with 5 being the maximum. These ratings are weighted to favour content that is informed by scientific research evidence, followed by transparency in its creation and ease of use. When you search for Web Resource Ratings on a particular topic, the ones with the highest ratings are presented first.

Our raters

Staff working on the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal conduct the assessments of the resources. Two staff members independently rate each resource and come to an agreement on its rating. Any disagreements in ratings are discussed until consensus is reached.

DISCLAIMER: Web Resource Ratings are provided for informational purposes only and to facilitate discussions with your healthcare providers, family members, or informal care givers. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professionals. The Portal is not responsible for the content of external websites, nor is it an endorsement of that website or the site’s owners (or their products/services). The Web Resource Ratings may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (Send email to Portal).

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