Wikipedia contains errors in nine out of 10 of its health entries and people with health issues should speak to their doctors first, reveals a new study.
US researchers have compared entries about conditions such as heart disease, lung cancer, depression and diabetes with peer-reviewed medical research and have found that the online encyclopaedia contained "many errors", the BBC reported.
Wikimedia UK, its British arm, said that from a public health standpoint, patients should not use Wikipedia as a primary resource because those articles do not go through the same peer-review process as medical journals.
The researchers said that the open-access nature has "raised concern" among doctors about the popular site reliability.
Lead author Dr Robert Hasty, of the Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine in North Carolina, said that while Wikipedia is a convenient tool for conducting research, from a public health standpoint patients should not use it as a primary resource because those articles do not go through the same peer-review process as medical journals.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.