Patient-Focused Online Resources for Melanoma: Highly Variable Content and Quality
- 100 Downloads
When patients are diagnosed or concerned with the diagnosis of melanoma, they commonly use the Internet for information. We assessed the content of patient-focused websites about melanoma. We searched for “melanoma” in four search engines then assessed the first 30 websites in each search. Among included sites, we describe potentially useful content about melanoma: website quality, readability, popularity, and social media sharing. In 31 included websites, > 80% mentioned the definition and risk factors for melanoma, when to seek medical help, how to diagnose, and treatment options, and > 70% described preventive measures. However, website quality was variable: 61% of websites had disclosures, 54% were dated, 41% had a clear author, and 41% had references. Average readability ranged from 8th to 12th grade, which is above recommended reading levels for patient websites. Despite this variation and high reading levels, we identified many high-quality melanoma websites for patients.
KeywordsMelanoma Internet Consumer education Health education Education Quality Readability
All authors have read and approved the submitted manuscript; the manuscript has not been submitted elsewhere nor published elsewhere in whole or in part.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
- 1.Lucas R, McMichael T, Smith W, Bruce K (2006) Armstrong, Annette Prüss-Üstün and World Health Organization. Solar ultraviolet radiation: global burden of disease from solar ultraviolet radiation / Robyn Lucas ... [et al.] ; editors, Annette Prüss-Üstün ... [et al.]Google Scholar
- 4.Styperek A, Kimball AB (2012) Malignant melanoma: the implications of cost for stakeholder innovation. Am J Pharm BenefitsGoogle Scholar
- 9.Friedman DB, Hoffman-Goetz L, Arocha JF (2004) Readability of cancer information on the internet. J Cancer Educ Off J Am Assoc Cancer Educ. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15430154jce1902_13
- 10.Ibrahim AMS, Vargas CR, Koolen PGL, Chuang DJ, Lin SJ, Lee BT (2016) Readability of online patient resources for melanoma. Melanoma Res. https://doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000210
- 11.Biermann JS, Golladay GJ, Greenfield MLVH, Baker LH. Cancer. 1999.Google Scholar
- 13.Anonymous Statista inc. Google Scholar
- 14.Borgmann H, Wolm JH, Vallo S, 2017 J Prostate cancer on the web-expedient tool for patients’ decision-making? Education 32:135–140. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-015-0891-3
- 17.Charnock D, Shepperd S, Needham G, Gann R (1999) DISCERN: an instrument for judging the quality of written consumer health information on treatment choicesGoogle Scholar
- 18.Anonymous Health on the net foundation. https://www.healthonnet.org
- 19.Hargrave DR, Hargrave UA, Bouffet E (1871) Quality of health information on the internet in pediatric neuro-oncologyGoogle Scholar
- 23.Lee C, Collichio F, Ollila D, Moschos S (2013) Historical review of melanoma treatment and outcomes. Clin Dermatol 31:141–147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2012.08.015 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 25.Sobota A, Ozakinci G (2015) The quality and readability of online consumer information about gynecologic cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer Off J Int Gynecol Cancer Soc. https://doi.org/10.1097/IGC.0000000000000362
- 27.Tran BNN, Ruan QZ, Epstein S, Ricci JA, Rudd RE, Lee BT (2017) Literacy analysis of National Comprehensive Cancer Network patient guidelines for the most common malignancies in the United States. Cancer. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31113
- 29.De Groot L, Harris I, Regehr G, Takiam A, Ingledew P-A Quality of online resources for pancreatic cancer patientsGoogle Scholar
- 30.Anonymous Cancer.Net. https://www.cancer.net/. Accessed 4 Jan 201.