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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

  • Is Palliative Care Right for You?

    Get Palliative Care
    This quiz will help you determine whether palliative care might be right for you or someone close to you. You can receive palliative care at any age and at any point in your illness.
  • Palliative Care Provider Directory

    Get Palliative Care
    This resource helps you or a loved one locate palliaitve care in your area. Once you find a program that you are interested in, you should contact the program directly to confirm eligibility.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Get Palliative Care
    This resource answers common questions about palliative care, such as what it is, when and where it can occur, and whether it is covered by insurance. Read this resource to find answers to questions you might have about palliative care.
  • Meet the Palliative Care Team

    Get Palliative Care
    This resource gives you and your families questions to ask your palliaitve care team during your first meeting. These questions will allow your goals to be made clear so you can be matched with the correct treatment options. Read this resource for more tips on speaking with your care team.
  • How to Get Palliative Care?

    Get Palliative Care
    The first step to getting palliative care is talking with your doctor. It is important to tell your doctor that you are thinking of palliative care and to explain your treatment goals and treatment history. Read this resource for more tips on how to talk to your doctor.
  • Stroke and Palliative Care

    Get Palliative Care
    Stroke is a disease where blood flow to the brain is stopped. The areas of the brain that are affected get damaged or die, which leads to the symptoms a stroke causes. Palliative care can help explain whether your symptoms will be permanent or will improve over time, as well as helping you to treat your symptoms. Read this resource to learn more.

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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