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Br J Sports Med. 2012 Jul;46(9):675-83. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2010.081620. Epub 2011 Apr 18.

Concussion information online: evaluation of information quality, content and readability of concussion-related websites.

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  • 1Centre for Physiotherapy Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The internet plays an important role in the dissemination of health information to the general public. Information on orthopaedic sports medicine websites has been shown to be of a varying standard, and to date there has been no evaluation of the overall quality of concussion-related websites.

METHODS:

A four-stage methodological sampling technique was used to identify concussion-related websites. Websites were assessed for the presence of a quality standard (the HONcode), their adherence to current expert concussion knowledge using a custom-developed concussion checklist ('CONcheck'), and their readability using the established Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL).

RESULTS:

43 Websites were identified from the search strategy with the majority (70%) not HONcode certified. A wide distribution of scores was seen for the CONcheck (0-22), FRE (16.3-77.4) and FKGL (6-17.8). Statistical analysis using independent t tests between websites with the HONcode and websites without the HONcode showed no significant differences between the two groups for CONcheck (t(41)=0.571, p=0.571), FRE (t(41)=0.808, p=0.424) and FKGL(t(41)=-0.964, p=0.341) scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

The variability in the standard of concussion-related websites highlights the need for sports medicine website providers to consider the delivery, content and readability of information to the public.

PMID:
21504964
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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