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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

  • Tips for Meal Kit and Food Delivery Safety

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    While there is currently no evidence that Covid-19 is spread through food, meal kits and food delivery should still follow food safety guidelines. There are steps you can take before ordering your groceries and while receiving and handling delivered food. Read this resource to learn more.
  • Virtual Mental Health Supports During COVID-19

    Government of BC
    Talking to someone can help alleviate feelings of despair or anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic. These virtual mental health resources are available for people of all ages and include resources for health care workers. Read this resource to learn more.
  • Managing COVID-19 Stress, Anxiety and Depression

    Government of BC
    The Covid-19 pandemic can create feelings of anxiety and fear. It is important to get the right facts, reach out to your social supports, and take care of yourself. In British Columbia, there are also community resources that can answer your questions and help you get emotional support. Read this resource for more information.
  • Preparing emotionally for retirement

    Age UK
    Preparing for retirement is about more than sorting out your finances. You also need to prepare emotionally and plan on how you will spend your time. Read the experience of one person in the UK who used a 3-point plan to transition from a fulfilling career to a fulfilling retirement life.
  • Feeling anxious or low about coronavirus

    Age UK
    It is natural to feel anxious while staying at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Managing your feelings starts with acknowledging them and then connecting with supports like your friends or family. You can also sort out your routine and sleep schedule to feel more in control. Read this resource for more tips.
  • Advice on caring for someone you live with

    Age UK
    Caring for someone you live with during the Covid-19 pandemic will be different from normal. You will need to take extra precautions such as washing your hands regularly and thinking about different daily living arrangements. Read about some of these adjustments and more in this resource.

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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