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


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 (Mountain View, CA), (Redmond, WA), and (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.


Cataract Health information Quality Patient education 


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)


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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

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