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J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Aug;41(4):265-72.

Systematic evaluation of obstructive sleep apnea websites on the internet.

Author information

1
Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the quality and comprehensiveness of the websites on the Internet with information directed toward patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

DESIGN:

Systematic evaluation of websites on the Internet with information on OSA.

SETTING:

World Wide Web.

METHODS:

The search engine Google was queried with the term "obstructive sleep apnea." The first 50 results were evaluated. Only websites written in English and containing original information were reviewed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

A data quality score (DQS) was generated by evaluating each website for the presence of 67 points of information relating to OSA. Each website was also evaluated using a Global Quality Score (GQS), the DISCERN instrument, the Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level, date of the last update, and sources of funding.

RESULTS:

Thirty-four websites met the inclusion criteria. The average DQS was 36 points (range 17-57). The average GQS was 2.9 (range 1-5). The average DISCERN score was 3.3 (range 1.9-4.7). The average reading grade level was 11.0 (range 5.0-15.8). Twenty-six websites (76%) provided authorship information. Twenty-five websites (74%) displayed a date of the last update. Of these, 12 websites were not updated within the past 2 years. Twenty websites (59%) provided a source of funding.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is a heterogeneous mixture of websites with varying quality on the Internet with information regarding OSA. Health care providers should be cognizant of the variety of information available for patients and be prepared to direct patients toward the high-quality information sources.

PMID:
22935178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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