Using Wikipedia? Research reveals how wrong it gets health

For the study, 10 internal medicine residents or medical interns were recruited from hospitals across America to compare the most closely corresponding Wikipedia entries with peer-reviewed literature for the 10 most costly health conditions in the US as defined by both public and private expenditure. Conditions included heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, depression and asthma.

In a double-blinded process, each reviewer examined two Wikipedia articles each to identify assertions of fact and then cross-referenced the assertions against a peer-reviewed source, published or updated within the last five years.

They found that 90% of the Wikipedia entries contained information that contradicted medical research. Just one Wikipedia article, covering concussion, was found to be in agreement with the corresponding literature on trauma-related disorders.

According to the authors of the paper, a separate 2009 study found that between 47% and