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Quality of information available on the World Wide Web for patients undergoing thyroidectomy: review

  • S Muthukumarasamy (a1), Z Osmani (a1), A Sharpe (a1) and R J A England (a1)

Abstract

Introduction:

This study aimed to assess the quality of information available on the World Wide Web for patients undergoing thyroidectomy.

Methods:

The first 50 web-links generated by internet searches using the five most popular search engines and the key word ‘thyroidectomy’ were evaluated using the Lida website validation instrument (assessing accessibility, usability and reliability) and the Flesch Reading Ease Score.

Results:

We evaluated 103 of a possible 250 websites. Mean scores (ranges) were: Lida accessibility, 48/63 (27–59); Lida usability, 36/54 (21–50); Lida reliability, 21/51 (4–38); and Flesch Reading Ease, 43.9 (2.6–77.6).

Conclusion:

The quality of internet health information regarding thyroidectomy is variable. High ranking and popularity are not good indicators of website quality. Overall, none of the websites assessed achieved high Lida scores. In order to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate or commercially motivated information, we recommend independent labelling of medical information available on the World Wide Web.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr S Muthukumarasamy, Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Castle Hill Hospital, Castle Road, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, HU16 5JQ Fax: +44 (0)1482 624714 E-mail: mksamy@gmail.com

References

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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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