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Acromioclavicular joint reconstruction: an analysis of the readability and quality of online information available to patients

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-29, 11:32 authored by Liam O’Dwyer, Ben Murphy, Dermot O’Farrell

Currently, patients use the Internet for health information relating to surgery. The aim of this study is to assess the readability and quality of online health information relating to acromioclavicular joint reconstruction. We hypothesise that the information will be of poor quality and be too difcult to read for the average patient. The top 50 results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo (MeSH “acromioclavicular joint reconstruction”, “ac joint reconstruction”) were used for analysis. Readability was assessed using three scores (Gunning FOG (GF), Flesch–Kincaid Grade (FKG), and Flesch Reading Ease (FRE)); these scores were generated using an online calculator ( Quality was assessed using a HONcode Google Toolbar extension and JAMA benchmark criteria. One hundred sixteen webpages were subject to analysis. The mean GF was 12.1 ± 2.9. The mean FKG was 10.6 ± 2.15. The mean FRE was 38.9 ± 13.3. FRE score found no webpage pitched at the 6th grade level, and only 4 (3.4%) and 2 (1.7%) of the webpages were pitched at this level according to the GF and FKG scores, respectively. The mean JAMA score was 1.9 ± 1.5. Only 10 webpages had HONcode certifcation. The quality of online patient information pertaining to acromioclavicular joint reconstruction is of poor quality and is too difcult to read. Physicians and health information providers should conform to health literacy standards. Health information providers should meet the minimum standards of verifed assessment tools.


Open Access funding provided by the IReL Consortium



SN Comprehensive Clinical Medicine, 2023, 5, 94



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