Advertisement

Health and Technology

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 791–795 | Cite as

Quality, readability, and understandability of internet-based information on cataract

  • Mona G. Alshehri
  • Abdulaziz U. JouryEmail author
Original Paper
  • 24 Downloads

Abstract

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. The Internet is a major source of health information for patients and their families. Here, we determine the quality, content, and readability of health information related to cataracts on the Internet. The quality, content, readability, and popularity of health information on cataracts were assessed using different validated questionnaires and tools. The search term “cataract” was used in the three most common search engines on the Internet Google.com (Mountain View, CA), Bing.com (Redmond, WA), and Yahoo.com (Sunnyvale, CA). We initially included 30 websites from each search engine. After excluding duplicate and unrelated websites, 24 websites were included in the final analyses. Quality of health information was assessed using three validated instruments: the DISCERN questionnaire, the JAMA Benchmark criteria, and the Health On Net code. Content was evaluated via a checklist extrapolated from different resources to cover critical elements related to cataracts. Readability was assessed using three different readability scores. The average DISCERN score for all websites was 46 out of 80, and the JAMA Benchmark criteria were suboptimal with an average score of 1.125 out of 4. The majority of the websites (20; 83.3%) possessed a Health On Net certificate. Readability was challenging; the average grade level was suitable for secondary grades and beyond. The quality of health information on cataracts is widely variable but weak overall. A standardized method for writing and revising cataract health information on the Internet should be adopted.

Keywords

Cataract Health information Quality Patient education 

Notes

Authors’ contribution

MA proposed the research idea and conduct DISCERN and HON analyses as well as participated in the drafting the manuscript and approved the final draft prior submission. AJ conducted the data analysis and edited the manuscript; and approved the final draft prior submission.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

12553_2019_324_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (522 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 521 kb)

References

  1. 1.
    Pascolini D, Mariotti SP. Global estimates of visual impairment: 2010. Br J Ophthalmol. 2012;96:614–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gilbert C, Foster A. Childhood blindness in the context of VISION 2020- the right to sight. Bull World Health Organ. 2001;79:227–32.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lindblad BE, Hakansson N, Philipson B, Wolk A. Metabolic syndrome components in relation to risk of cataract extraction: a prospective cohort study of women. Ophthalmology. 2008;115:1687–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    West SK, Valmadrid CT. Epidemiology of risk factors for age-related cataract. Surv Ophthalmol. 1995;39:323–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Research Group, Huynh N, Nicholson BP, Agron E, Clemons TE, Bressler SB, et al. Visual acuity after cataract surgery in patients with age-related macular degeneration: age-related eye disease study 2 report number 5. Ophthalmology. 2014;121:1229–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Clark A, Morlet N, Ng JQ, Preen DB, Semmens JB. Whole population trends in complications of cataract surgery over 22 years in Western Australia. Ophthalmology. 2011;118:1055–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tian Y, Robinson JD. Incidental health information use and media complementarity: a comparison of senior and non-senior cancer patients. Patient Educ Couns. 2008;71:340–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pew Research Center [http://www.pewresearch.org] Accessed 13 Nov 2017
  9. 9.
    Lawrence S, Giles CL. Accessibility of information on the web. Nature. 1999;8:107–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eysenbach G. The impact of the internet on cancer outcomes. CA Cancer J Clin. 2003;53:356–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Joury A, Joraid A, Alqahtani F, Alghamdi A, Batwa A, Pines JM. The variation in quality and content of patient-focused health information on the internet for otitis media. Child Care Health Dev. 2018;44:221–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Visscher KL, Hutnik CM, Thomas M. Evidence-based treatment of acute infective conjunctivitis: breaking the cycle of antibiotic prescribing. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55:1071–5.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chalmers I. Invalid health information is potentially lethal. BMJ. 2001;322:998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ha JF, Longnecker N. Doctor-patient communication: a review. Ochsner J. 2010;10:38–43.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Statista [https://www.statista.com] Accessed on 13 Nov 2017.
  16. 16.
    Demetriades AK, Alg VS, Hardwidge C. Are internet sites providing evidence-based information for patients suffering with trigeminal neuralgia? Scott Med J. 2014;59:114–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Joury AU, Alshathri M, Alkhunaizi M, Jaleesah N, Pines JM. Internet websites for chest pain symptoms demonstrate highly variable content and quality. Acad Emerg Med. 2016;23:1146–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Charnock D, Shepperd S, Needham G, Gann R. DISCERN: an instrument for judging the quality of written consumer health information on treatment choices. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1999;53:105–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Silberg WM, Lundberg GD, Musacchio RA. Assessing, controlling, and assuring the quality of medical information on the internet: Caveant lector et viewor--let the reader and viewer beware. JAMA. 1997;277:1244–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Health on the Net Foundation. The HON Code of Conduct for Medical and Health Web sites (HON- code). [healthonnet.org/ HONcode]. Accessed 13 Nov 2017.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Internet World Stats - Usage and Population Statistics [internetworldstats.com/stats]. Accessed 16 Nov 2017.
  22. 22.
    Congdon N, Vingerling JR, Klein BE, West S, Friedman DS, Kempen J, et al. Prevalence of cataract and pseudophakia/aphakia among adults in the United States. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122:487–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    The World Factbook. [cia.gov] Accessed on 17 Nov 2017.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cotugna N, Vickery CE, Carpenter-Haefele KM. Evaluation of literacy level of patient education pages in health-related journals. J Community Health. 2005;30:213–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Murray E, Lo B, Pollack L, Donelan K, Catania J, Lee K, et al. The impact of health information on the internet on health care and the physician-patient relationship: national U.S. survey among 1.050 U.S. physicians. J Med Internet Res. 2003;5:17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Tan SS, Goonawardene N. Internet health information seeking and the patient-physician relationship: a systematic review. J Med Internet Res. 2017;19:9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IUPESM and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, College of MedicineKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.King Salman Heart CenterKing Fahd Medical CityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineOchsner Health FoundationNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations