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Web-based information on oral dysplasia and precancer of the mouth - Quality and readability

Alsoghier, A; Ni Riordain, R; Fedele, S; Porter, S; (2018) Web-based information on oral dysplasia and precancer of the mouth - Quality and readability. Oral Oncology , 82 pp. 69-74. 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2018.05.003. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The numbers of individuals with oral cancer are increasing. This cancer is preceded by oral epithelial dysplasia (OED). There remains no detailed study of the online information presently available for patients with OED or indeed what information such patients may require to be appropriately informed regarding their condition. Hence, the aim of the present study is to assess the patient-oriented web content with respect to OED. METHODS: The first 100 websites yielded from nine searches performed using different search terms and engines were considered. These were assessed for content, quality (DISCERN instrument, Journal of the American Medical Association benchmarks, and Health on Net seal) and readability (Flesch Reading Ease Score and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level). RESULTS: There was a general scarcity of OED content across the identified websites. Information about authors, sources used to compile the publication, treatment, and shared decision were limited or absent. Only 6% and 27% of the websites achieved all the four JAMA benchmarks and HON seal, respectively. The average readability level was at 10th grade (US schools), which far exceeds the recommended levels of written health information. CONCLUSION: At present patients seeking information on OED are likely to have difficulty in finding reliable information from the Web about this disorder and its possible impact upon their life. Further work is thus required to develop a web-based resource regarding OED that addresses the shortfalls demonstrated by the current study.

Type: Article
Title: Web-based information on oral dysplasia and precancer of the mouth - Quality and readability
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2018.05.003
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2018.05.003
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Chronic disease, Head and neck neoplasms, Health education, Health literacy, Information seeking behaviour, Internet, Leukoplakia, Oral, Mouth neoplasms, Needs assessment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute > EDI MaxFac, Diagnostic, Med and Surg Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051277
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