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Quality of internet-based decision aids for shoulder arthritis: what are patients reading?

Quality of internet-based decision aids for shoulder arthritis: what are patients reading?
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Somerson JS, Bois AJ, Jeng J, Bohsali KI, Hinchey JW, Wirth MA,


Somerson JS, Bois AJ, Jeng J, Bohsali KI, Hinchey JW, Wirth MA, (click to view)

Somerson JS, Bois AJ, Jeng J, Bohsali KI, Hinchey JW, Wirth MA,

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BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2018 04 1119(1) 112 doi 10.1186/s12891-018-2018-6
Abstract
BACKGROUND
The objective of this study was to assess the source, quality, accuracy, and completeness of Internet-based information for shoulder arthritis.

METHODS
A web search was performed using three common Internet search engines and the top 50 sites from each search were analyzed. Information sources were categorized into academic, commercial, non-profit, and physician sites. Information quality was measured using the Health On the Net (HON) Foundation principles, content accuracy by counting factual errors and completeness using a custom template.

RESULTS
After removal of duplicates and sites that did not provide an overview of shoulder arthritis, 49 websites remained for analysis. The majority of sites were from commercial (n = 16, 33%) and physician (n = 16, 33%) sources. An additional 12 sites (24%) were from an academic institution and five sites (10%) were from a non-profit organization. Commercial sites had the highest number of errors, with a five-fold likelihood of containing an error compared to an academic site. Non-profit sites had the highest HON scores, with an average of 9.6 points on a 16-point scale. The completeness score was highest for academic sites, with an average score of 19.2 ± 6.7 (maximum score of 49 points); other information sources had lower scores (commercial, 15.2 ± 2.9; non-profit, 18.7 ± 6.8; physician, 16.6 ± 6.3).

CONCLUSIONS
Patient information on the Internet regarding shoulder arthritis is of mixed accuracy, quality, and completeness. Surgeons should actively direct patients to higher-quality Internet sources.

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