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Keogh, CJ,McHugh, SM,Moloney, MC,Hannigan, A,Healy, DA,Burke, PE,Kavanagh, EG,Grace, PA,Walsh, SR
Assessing the quality of online information for patients with carotid disease
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Introduction: Controversy exists relating to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) versus carotid artery stenting (CAS). We aimed to assess the quality of online patient information relating to both.Methods: The Google search engine was searched for "carotid endarterectomy" and "carotid stenting". The first 50 webpages returned were assessed. The Gunning Fog Index (GFI) and Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) were calculated to assess readability. The LIDA tool (Minervation Ltd., Oxford, U. K.) was used to assess accessibility, usability and reliability.Results: 20% (n = 10) of the webpages returned for CEA were from peer reviewed sources with 34% (n = 17) posted by hospitals or health services. Comparatively, for CAS, 40% (n = 20) were peer reviewed with 16% (n = 8) posted by hospitals or health services. GFI and FRES scores indicated webpages for both CEA and CAS had poor general readability. Webpages for CEA were easier to read than those for CAS (mean FRES difference of 6.7 (95% CI 0.51 to 12.93, p = 0.03). Median LIDA scores demonstrated acceptable reliability, accessibility and usability of information for both CEA and CAS webpages. The more readable webpages were not associated with higher LIDA scores for either CEA or CAS webpages.Conclusion: Webpages providing information on carotid disease management must be made more readable. Online information currently available to patients regarding CAS is more difficult to read and comprehend than CEA. (C) 2014 Surgical Associates Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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