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Health Promot Perspect. 2018 Apr 18;8(2):167-170. doi: 10.15171/hpp.2018.22. eCollection 2018.

Readability of information on colonoscopy preparation on the internet.

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Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029 USA.
Department of Public Health, William Paterson University, 366 University Hall, Wayne, NJ 07470 USA.
Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th Street, NY, NY 10027 USA.


Background: The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) has decreased in recent years, due in large part to increased screening, particularly through colonoscopy. This study aimed to examine the level of readability of information on colonoscopy preparation written on 100 websites that were found via an internet search. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the content of the first 100 websites in English found via an internet search were analyzed using established readability scales. Websites were compared based on whether they had a commercial or non-commercial URL extension. Results: The majority of websites were found to have information of a difficult reading level. Less than 10% of websites had an easy reading level. Readability did not differ significantly based on URL extension. Conclusion: The information currently posted on the internet regarding preparation for colonoscopy is written at a difficult reading level. If information presented was both accurate and easier to read, it could benefit a greater proportion of the general public and help inform decisions about preparing for a colonoscopy.


Colon cancer; Colonoscopy; On-line information; Readability

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