Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69-75  

A comparison of the quality of the information available on the internet on interventional radiology, vascular surgery, and cardiology

A Alsafi1, G Kaya2, H Patel3, MS Hamady1 
1 Department of Interventional Radiology, Imperial College, St. Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, London W2 1NY, United Kingdom
2 Department of Medicine, The Hillingdon Hospital, Pield Heath Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3NN, United Kingdom
3 Department of Surgery, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8RF, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
A Alsafi
Department of Interventional Radiology, Imperial College, St. Mary«SQ»s Hospital, Praed Street, London W2 1NY
United Kingdom

Context and Aims: Internet use is rapidly expanding and increasingly plays a substantial role in patient education. We sought to evaluate and compare the quality of information available to patients online on three closely linked specialties: Interventional radiology (IR), cardiology, and vascular surgery. Materials and Methods: We searched the leading three search engines for the terms: «DQ»Interventional Radiology«DQ», «DQ»cardiology,«DQ» and «DQ»vascular surgery,«DQ» collating the top 50 hits from each search. After excluding duplicates and irrelevant sites, 43, 25, and 36 sites remained, respectively. Sites were analyzed using the LIDA instrument (an online tool for assessing health-related websites) and Fleisch Reading Ease Scores (FRES) were compared across the different search terms and correlated with the country of origin and certification by the Health on the Net (HON) Foundation. Results: There was no significant difference ( P>0.05) in the total LIDA, accessibility, usability or reliability scores between the three specialties. HONCode certification was associated with higher LIDA (83.1±1.6 vs. 71.53±0.8 ( P<0.0001)), reliability (75.7±3.6 vs. 49.0±1.6 ( P<0.0001)) and FRES (37.4±4.0 vs. 29.7±1.4 ( P=0.0441)). Conclusion: Websites are generally well designed and easy to use; the majority however, lacks currency and reliability. Despite similarity in quality of online information, there is a disparity in knowledge of IR; this may be due to low web-traffic figures of IR sites. Wikipedia«SQ»s user-generated content, ranks highly in major search engines, as such; this could serve as means of disseminating reliable health information to patients.


How to cite this article:
Alsafi A, Kaya G, Patel H, Hamady M S. A comparison of the quality of the information available on the internet on interventional radiology, vascular surgery, and cardiology.J Postgrad Med 2013;59:69-75


How to cite this URL:
Alsafi A, Kaya G, Patel H, Hamady M S. A comparison of the quality of the information available on the internet on interventional radiology, vascular surgery, and cardiology. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Aug 4 ];59:69-75
Available from: http://www.jpgmonline.com/article.asp?issn=0022-3859;year=2013;volume=59;issue=1;spage=69;epage=75;aulast=Alsafi;type=0


 
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