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BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017 Jan 26;18(1):43. doi: 10.1186/s12891-017-1416-5.

Evaluating on-line health information for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica: a descriptive study.

Author information

1
Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK.
2
Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK. s.hider@keele.ac.uk.
3
Haywood Rheumatology Centre, Haywood Hospital, Staffordshire, UK. s.hider@keele.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Internet is increasingly used to access health information, although the quality of information varies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the readability, and quality of websites about polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR).

METHODS:

Three UK search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) were searched for the term 'polymyalgia rheumatica'. After deleting duplicates, the first 50 eligible websites from each were evaluated. Readability was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease and 'Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) Readability' indicators. Credibility was assessed using a previously published Credibility Indicator.

RESULTS:

Of the 52 unique websites identified, the mean (standard deviation) Flesch Reading Ease and SMOG Readability scores were 48 (15) and 10 (2), respectively. The mean (SD) Credibility Indicator was 2 (1). Fifty (96%) of websites were accurate. Website design and content was good, with an average of 68 and 64% respectively, of the assessed criteria being met.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most websites about PMR require a higher readability age than is recommended. Thus whilst websites are often well designed and accurate this study suggests that their content could be refined and simplified to maximise patient benefit.

KEYWORDS:

Health literacy; Polymyalgia rheumatica; Readability; Websites

PMID:
28122554
PMCID:
PMC5267405
DOI:
10.1186/s12891-017-1416-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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