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Arthroscopy. 2013 Jun;29(6):1095-100. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2013.02.007. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Assessment of the quality and content of information on anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction on the internet.

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1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. robbrucebrand@gmail.com

Abstract

The Internet has become a major source of health information for the public. However, there are concerns regarding the quality, accuracy, and currency of medical information available online. We assessed the quality of information about anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction on the first 60 websites returned by the 4 most popular search engines. Each site was categorized by type and assessed for quality and validity using the DISCERN score, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria, and a novel ACL reconstruction-specific content score. The presence of the Health On the Net Code (HONcode), a purported quality assurance marker, was noted. The quality of information on ACL reconstruction available online is variable, with many websites omitting basic information regarding treatment options, risks, and prognosis. Commercial websites predominate. Academic and allied health professional websites attained the highest DISCERN and JAMA benchmark scores, whereas physician sites achieved the highest content scores. Sites that bore the HONcode seal obtained higher DISCERN and ACL reconstruction content scores than those without this certification. The HONcode seal is a reliable indicator of website quality, and we can confidently advise our patients to search for this marker.

PMID:
23582738
DOI:
10.1016/j.arthro.2013.02.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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