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Arch Bone Jt Surg. 2015 Jul;3(3):163-8.

Reliability, Readability and Quality of Online Information about Femoracetabular Impingement.

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Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University, 925 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.



The Internet has become the most widely-used source for patients seeking information more about their health and many sites geared towards this audience have gained widespread use in recent years. Additionally, many healthcare institutions publish their own patient-education web sites with information regarding common conditions. Little is known about how these resources impact patient health, though, as they have the potential both to inform and to misinform patients regarding their prognosis and possible treatments. In this study we investigated the reliability, readability and quality of information about femoracetabular impingement, a condition which commonly affects young patients.


The terms "hip impingement" and "femoracetabular impingement" were searched in Google® in November 2013 and the first 30 results were analyzed. The LIDA scale was used to assess website accessibility, usability and reliability. The DISCERN scale was used to assess reliability and quality of information. The FRE score was used to assess readability.


The patient-oriented sites performed significantly worse in LIDA reliability, and DISCERN reliability. However, the FRE score was significantly higher in patient-oriented sites.


According to our results, the websites intended to attract patients searching for information regarding femoroacetabular impingement are providing a highly accessible, readable information source, but do not appear to apply a comparable amount of rigor to scientific literature or healthcare practitioner websites in regard to matters such as citing sources for information, supplying methodology and including a publication date. This indicates that while these resources are easily accessed by patients, there is potential for them to be a source of misinformation.


Hip; Impingement; Internet; Medical information; Reliability


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