Introduction: An assessment of 36 back-pain-related French-language Web sites, miming a patient search strategy, was previously done by use of evidence-based items. Medical information quality was poor, as already noted about English-language Web sites. Thus, patients' expectations may exceed that provided by Web sites with simple medical information.
Objectives: To study whether French-language Web sites related to low back pain meet patients expectations and to valid a rating scale including patients' expectations.
Materials and method: First we reviewed French-language Web sites with new keywords and medical gateways. Second, we systematically double assessed back pain-related Web sites with a health care professional and patient-centered scale.
Results: We found 30 additional Web sites not found with the previous search, 7 focusing on patient information. The rating scale is valid, and its use on a Web site sample leads to results different from those generated by an evidence-based medicine rating scale but close to a more global assessment.
Discussion: French-language Web sites related to low back pain do not meet patients' expectations. Patients participation in Web site assessment or construction could help to close the gap between the expectations of people with low back pain and information delivered by doctors.