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Online Information on the Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome: Quality and Readability

Alnafea, S; Fedele, S; Porter, S; Riordain, RN; (2017) Online Information on the Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome: Quality and Readability. Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache , 31 (2) pp. 147-151. 10.11607/ofph.1717. Green open access

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Abstract

Aims: the aims of this study were to evaluate the quality and readability of online information regarding the treatment of BMS. Methods: An Internet search using the phrase ‘burning mouth syndrome treatment’ was carried out on the Google search engine (www.google.co.uk) on June 8th 2015. The first 100 websites listed were then examined. Data collection included DISCERN score, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmarks for website analysis score, the presence of the Health on the Net (HON) seal and the Flesch Reading Ease Score. Descriptive statistics were performed using Microsoft Office Excel. Results: The search strategy initially yielded 635,000 links and following the application of the exclusion criteria 53 sites remained for analysis. The overall DISCERN score varied between websites, with half of all websites achieving an overall score of 2 and none of these websites achieving the maximum score of 5 (2.4 ± 0.7). Only 18.9% (10) of the websites achieved the four JAMA benchmarks while 5.7% (3) of the websites had not achieve any of them. Nine of the 53 assessed websites (17%) displayed the HON seal. The Flesch Reading Ease scores (FRES) of the websites ranged between 32.4 and 82.2. The mean rating was 55.4 (±10.7), which is considered to reflect fairly difficult reading. Conclusion: In conclusion, the information available online regarding BMS is of questionable quality and content. Perhaps engaging patients in determining what type and format of information they desire when searching online for health information could guide clinicians and researchers alike in providing such reliable and readable information sources.

Type: Article
Title: Online Information on the Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome: Quality and Readability
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.11607/ofph.1717
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.11607/ofph.1717
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: burning mouth syndrome, online health information, patient information, quality of life, shared decision-making
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/1555417
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