Health and Technology

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 751–756 | Cite as

Orofacial granulomatosis and dietary interventions: health information on the internet

  • Dáire ShanahanEmail author
  • James Ashworth-Holland
  • Konrad Staines
Original Paper


To assess the content, quality, and readability of health information on the internet for patients with orofacial granulomatosis, including material on benzoate and cinnamon-free diets. The first 100 websites drawn from searches using 8 key terms (2400 websites) across 3 search engines (Yahoo, Google, and Bing) were analysed. Duplicates or websites with unrelated information were excluded, which brought the number of websites included in the study to 12. To assess the quality of the information, we used the DISCERN questionnaire, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Benchmark Criteria, and Health on Net Seal. The readability was then analysed by applying the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease and Grade Level tests, the Automated Readability Index, and global traffic ranking (ALEXA). Separate assessment for both orofacial granulomatosis, and its management with a benzoate and cinnamon-free diet, showed that most websites (75%) were either ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’ in quality, with a mean DISCERN score of 31.4 out of 80. No website met all four JAMA benchmarks. Only two websites displayed the HONcode seal. Generally, health information was considered difficult to read, with a FRES ranging from 21.5 to 68, with a mean score of 48 (±13.2). To comprehend this information, readers would need to have, on average, a 10th grade US level education. The quality and readability of online information on orofacial granulomatosis is poor and difficult to read.


Orofacial granulomatosis Granulomatosis cheilitis Benzoate and cinnamon exclusion diet Internet DISCERN Health information 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The Academic Clinical Fellowship of D. Shanahan is partially funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) UK.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Drs Daire Shanahan, James Ashworth-Holland and Konrad Staines declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Supplementary material

12553_2019_327_MOESM1_ESM.xls (98 kb)
ESM 1 (XLS 97 kb)


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Copyright information

© IUPESM and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral MedicineUniversity of Bristol Dental HospitalBristolUK

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