AB213. Assessing the quality and readability of information online recourses for magnetic resonance imaging risks and safety: what are our patients looking up online?
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AB213. Assessing the quality and readability of information online recourses for magnetic resonance imaging risks and safety: what are our patients looking up online?

Sean-Tee Lim, Martin Kelly

Department of Surgery, University Hospital Limerick, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland


Background: The internet is of the first go to source of information for patients. It is paramount that patients are aware of the risks of any treatment or scan. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the quality and readability of information available online around the risks and contraindications of having a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

Methods: Websites were identified using the search term ‘MRI risks’ and the first 25 websites from three separate search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo) were selected for evaluation of authorship, quality of information using the DISCERN instrument (www.discern.org.uk) and The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria. The information given for contraindications to MRI such as metal work, pregnancy, claustrophobia, contrast allergy and renal insufficiency was also noted. Readability of each web site was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease score, the Flesch-Kincaid grade level, and the Gunning Fog Index.

Results: After disregarding duplicated or overlapping websites within and among search engines, 53 of the total 75 websites were evaluated. Only 35.8% (N=19) of websites had HON code certification. Just 13.5% (7/53) of web sites were at or below the recommended sixth-grade readability level.

Conclusions: The information available on the Internet pertaining to MRI risks is highly variable in terms of quality and largely set at an inappropriate readability level. The majority of the websites assessed discussed the main risks and contraindications but in variable detail. Given this variability in quality, health care providers should direct patients to known sources of reliable, readable online information.

Keywords: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); saftey; online information; readability


doi: 10.21037/map.2020.AB213
Cite this abstract as: Lim ST, Kelly M. Assessing the quality and readability of information online recourses for magnetic resonance imaging risks and safety: what are our patients looking up online? Mesentery Peritoneum 2020;4:AB213.