AB252. Assessing the quality and readability of online resources for plantar fasciitis: what are our patients reading?
Orthopaedic Posters

AB252. Assessing the quality and readability of online resources for plantar fasciitis: what are our patients reading?

Sean-Tee Lim, Martin Kelly, Shane O’Neill, Lester D’Souza

Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland


Background: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the quality and readability of information available online for plantar fasciitis.

Methods: Websites were identified using the search term ‘plantar fasciitis’ and the first 25 websites from five separate search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and Yandex) were selected for evaluation with a total of 125. Readability of each web site was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease score, the Flesch-Kincaid grade level, and the Gunning Fog Index. Quality was calculated using the DISCERN instrument (www.discern.org.uk) and The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria. The presence of Health on the Net (HON) code certification was also assessed. After disregarding duplicated or overlapping websites within and among search engines, 85 websites pages were evaluated. A one-way analysis of variance test was used to compare differences in DISCERN and JAMA scores between five categories of authorship (physician, academic, commercial, non-physician, other e.g., blog).

Results: The majority of the websites evaluated were authored by physicians (31%) and blogs (24%). Only 24 websites were HON certified (28%). Physician and academic websites were the most credible sources with the highest mean DISCERN (P=0.00001) and JAMA (P=0.0278) scores respectively. Conversely these websites were the most difficult to read according to the readability score testing.

Conclusions: The information available on the Internet pertaining to plantar fasciitis is highly variable and provides moderate quality information about treatment choices with some limitations based on the DISCERN instrument and JAMA score.

Keywords: Online; information; plantar fasciitis; readability


doi: 10.21037/map.2020.AB252
Cite this abstract as: Lim ST, Kelly M, O’Neill S, D’Souza L. Assessing the quality and readability of online resources for plantar fasciitis: what are our patients reading? Mesentery Peritoneum 2020;4:AB252.