Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Leung JY;Ni Riordain R;Porter S;
British dental journal
Readability and quality of online information regarding dental treatment for patients with ischaemic heart disease.
Optional Fields
Background Healthcare information is increasingly being sought on the Internet. Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) poses a significant health burden. Concern often arises for patients with IHD when undergoing dental treatment, leading to online searching for relevant healthcare information.Objective To evaluate the readability and quality of webpages regarding IHD and dental treatment.Materials and methods Three searches were performed on the Google search engine. The first hundred results of each search were collated and exclusion criteria applied. The remaining 66 webpages were categorised. Readability was assessed using the FRES and SMOG readability tools. Quality was assessed using the PEMAT questionnaire, the JAMA benchmarks and the Health On the Net (HON) seal.Results Most examined webpages were commercial. Readability of 90.1% of webpages was deemed fairly to very difficult. Understandability and actionability scores were generally below the comprehension level of the general population. Less than 50% of websites achieved the authorship, attribution and disclosure JAMA benchmarks. Only 12.1% of websites displayed the HON seal.Conclusions Online health information related to IHD and dental treatment is generally too difficult for the average individual to read, understand, or act upon, and may be of questionable quality. Given the low health literacy rates among the general population, future revisions of educational materials by non-commercial sources regarding IHD and dental treatment are warranted, in order to ensure online health information is understandable and of genuine benefit to patients and/or their carers.
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