MMR vaccine information on the Internet World Wide Web.

Date
2003-03
Authors
Miyasaki, Marc R
Alejo, Randy S
Yamamoto, Loren
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62
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3
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OBJECTIVES: To review world wide web sites that contain information about the MMR vaccine to determine whether the content is accurate compared to recognized standard sources of information. In today's internet age, patients search for information on the internet where there is no regulation of information quality. METHODS: By using an internet search engine, several combinations of search terms including "MMR vaccine" were used to find relevant web sites. Sites were classified as favoring MMR use, not favoring MMR use, no position on favoring MMR use. Adverse reactions described in the web site were classified as consistent with, or inconsistent with the adverse reactions described by the standard sources. RESULTS: 13% to 40% of web sites favor MMR use depending on the search parameters used. 2.5% to 15% do not favor MMR use. 25% to 63% of the sites took no position on favoring MMR use. 45% to 70% of sites provided "consistent" information on adverse reactions, except for a search using "MMR Vaccine Dangers" which resulted in only 18% of the sites describing "consistent" adverse reaction information. 8% to 38% of sites provided information on adverse reactions which was inconsistent with standard sources, most of which involved information on autism. CONCLUSIONS: Most sites do not take a stand on favoring MMR use. Most sites provide adverse reaction information consistent with the standard sources; however, it is likely that parents and patients will encounter sites that provide adverse reaction information, not consistent with standard sources.
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