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Neurological Sciences

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 1045–1046 | Cite as

The readability of the English Wikipedia article on Parkinson’s disease

  • Francesco Brigo
  • Roberto Erro
Letter to the Editor

Millions of people surf the Internet every day as a source of health care information looking for materials about symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and their possible adverse effects, or diagnostic procedures.

Since its launch in 2001, the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia has become the most popular general reference website, which contains approximately 30 million articles available in up to 287 languages and over 4.6 million English articles. With 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors per month, the English version of Wikipedia ranks the fifth place in the list of the most visited websites, thus being very likely a common source of health care information by both patients and caregivers.

Worth of note, the first webpage that appears after entering the keyword “Parkinson’s disease” (PD) on Google, the most popular search engine worldwide, is the Wikipedia article on PD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson’s_disease) (search conducted on 7 November 2014)....

Keywords

Parkinson’s disease Readability Wikipedia 

Notes

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any conflict of interest to disclose.

References

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    American Medical Association (1999) Health literacy: report of the Council on Scientific Affairs. Ad Hoc Committee on Health Literacy for the Council on Scientific Affairs. American Medical Association. JAMA. 281:552–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Hansberry DR, Agarwal N, Gonzales SF, Baker SR (2014) Are we effectively informing patients? A quantitative analysis of on-line patient education resources from the American society of neuroradiology. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 35:1270–1275PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    National Institutes of Health. How to write easy-to-read health materials. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/etr.html (Accessed November 5, 2014)
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    King MM, Winton ASW, Adkins AD (2003) Assessing the readability of mental health internet brochures for children and adolescents. J Child Fam Stud 12:91–99Google Scholar
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    Fitzsimmons PR, Michael BD, Hulley JL, Scott GO (2010) A readability assessment of online Parkinson’s disease information. J R Coll Physicians Edinb 40:292–296PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology“Franz Tappeiner” HospitalMeranoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neurological and Movement SciencesUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  3. 3.Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement DisordersUniversity College London (UCL) Institute of NeurologyLondonUK

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