To determine the type, accuracy and content of information available on the Internet regarding the treatment of oral ulcers.
The search engine Google was used to generate a list of top 100 websites about 'mouth ulcer treatment'. The websites were evaluated using the DISCERN instrument and the JAMA benchmarks. Whether the site displayed the Health on the Net (HON) seal was also recorded.
The search yielded 1,460,000 sites on the Google website. Of the top 100 sites a total of 54 sites were suitable for analysis due to duplicate links and non-functioning links. Of the websites analysed, 31.5% achieved all four JAMA benchmarks and 13% achieved only one benchmark. No website receiving the maximum mark on the overall score and six websites received the lowest overall score regarding the DISCERN instrument. The questions with the poorest response score were 'Does it describe how the treatment choices affect overall quality of life?' and 'Does it provide support for shared decision-making?'. Only 7.4% of the websites displayed the HON seal.
Diverse information regarding the treatment of oral ulcers is available on the Internet with variable accuracy levels based on both JAMA benchmarks and DISCERN.