Advertisement

Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 708–714 | Cite as

Quality and readability of online patient information regarding sclerotherapy for venous malformations

  • Jonathan H. Pass
  • Amani H. Patel
  • Sam Stuart
  • Alex M. Barnacle
  • Premal A. Patel
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Patients often use the internet as a source of information about their condition and treatments. However, this information is unregulated and varies in quality.

Objective

To evaluate the readability and quality of online information for pediatric and adult patients and caregivers regarding sclerotherapy for venous malformations.

Materials and methods

“Venous malformation sclerotherapy” was entered into Google, and results were reviewed until 20 sites that satisfied predefined inclusion criteria were identified. Scientific and non-patient-focused web pages were excluded. Readability was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease Score and American Medical Association reading difficulty recommendations and quality was assessed using Journal of the American Medical Association standards and assessing if the site displayed HONcode (Health on the Net Code) certification. Assessment of the breadth of relevant information was made using a predefined checklist.

Results

Forty-nine search engine results were reviewed before 20 sites were identified for analysis. Average Flesch Reading Ease Score was 44 (range: 24.2–70.1), representing a “fairly difficult” reading level. None of the sites had a Flesch Reading Ease Score meeting the American Medical Association recommendation of 80-90. Only one site met all four Journal of the American Medical Association quality criteria (average: 2.1). None of the sites displayed a HONcode seal. The information most frequently found was: sclerotherapy is performed by radiologists, multiple treatments may be needed and surgery is an alternative treatment.

Conclusion

Online information regarding sclerotherapy for venous malformations is heterogeneous in quality and breadth of information, and does not meet readability recommendations for patient information. Radiologists should be aware of and account for this when meeting patients.

Keywords

Children Internet Interventional radiology Patient information Sclerotherapy Venous malformation 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

None

References

  1. 1.
    Stuart S, Barnacle AM, Smith G et al (2014) Neuropathy after sodium tetradecyl sulfate sclerotherapy of venous malformations in children. Radiology 274:897–905CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Puig S, Aref H, Chigot V et al (2003) Classification of venous malformations in children and implications for sclerotherapy. Pediatr Radiol 33:99–103CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Patton LL, George SF, Hollowell RP (2014) Content, quality, and readability of website information on dental care for patients with cancer. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 118:78–83CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Number of Internet Users (2016) - Internet Live Stats. http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/. Accessed 12 Jun 2016
  5. 5.
    Pew Research Center (2013) Internet User Demographics. In: Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. http://www.pewinternet.org/data-trend/internet-use/latest-stats/. Accessed 12 Jun 2016
  6. 6.
    Rainie L, Fox S (2000) The Online Health Care Revolution. In: Pew Research Center Internet & Technology. http://www.pewinternet.org/2000/11/26/the-online-health-care-revolution/. Accessed 12 Jun 2016
  7. 7.
    Cherla DV, Sanghvi S, Choudhry OJ et al (2013) Readability assessment of Internet-based patient education materials related to acoustic neuromas. Otol Neurotol 34:1349–1354CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Horbach SE, Ubbink DT, Stubenrouch FE et al (2017) Shared decision-making in the management of congenital vascular malformations. Plast Reconstr Surg 139:725e–734eGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    General Medical Council Consent guidance: Sharing information and discussing treatment options. http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/consent_guidance_sharing_info_discussing_treatment_options.asp. Accessed 14 Jun 2017
  10. 10.
    Baskin KM, Hogan MJ, Sidhu MK et al (2011) Developing a clinical pediatric interventional practice: a joint clinical practice guideline from the Society of Interventional Radiology and the Society for Pediatric Radiology. J Vasc Interv Radiol 22:1647–1655CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    Jansen BJ, Spink A (2004) Chapter XVI An analysis of documents viewing patterns of Web search engine users. In: Web mining: Applications and techniques. Idea Group Inc (IGI), Hershey, pp 339–354Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Flesch R (1948) A new readability yardstick. J Appl Psychol 32:221–233CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cotugna N, Vickery CE, Carpenter-Haefele KM (2005) Evaluation of literacy level of patient education pages in health-related journals. J Community Health 30:213–219CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Measure the Readability of Text! - Improve your writing and your website marketing with Readability-Score.com. https://readability-score.com/text/. Accessed 12 Jun 2016
  16. 16.
    Silberg WM, Lundberg GD, Musacchio RA (1997) Assessing, controlling, and assuring the quality of medical information on the Internet: Caveant lector et viewor--Let the reader and viewer beware. JAMA 277:1244–1245CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    HONcode: Principles - Quality and trustworthy health information. https://www.healthonnet.org/HONcode/Conduct.html. Accessed 12 Jun 2016
  18. 18.
    Ripley BA, Tiffany D, Lehmann LS et al (2015) Improving the informed consent conversation: a standardized checklist that is patient centered, quality driven, and legally sound. J Vasc Interv Radiol 26:1639–1646CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Penson RT, Benson RC, Parles K et al (2002) Virtual connections: Internet health care. Oncologist 7:555–568CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Baker DW, Gazmararian JA, Williams MV et al (2002) Functional health literacy and the risk of hospital admission among Medicare managed care enrollees. Am J Public Health 92:1278–1283CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    National Work Group on Literacy and Health (1998) Communicating with patients who have limited literacy skills. Report of the National Work Group on Literacy and Health. J Fam Pract 46:168–176Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Albright J, de Guzman C, Acebo P et al (1996) Readability of patient education materials: implications for clinical practice. Appl Nurs Res 9:139–143CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cooley ME, Moriarty H, Berger MS et al (1995) Patient literacy and the readability of written cancer educational materials. Oncol Nurs Forum 22:1345–1351PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Misra P, Kasabwala K, Agarwal N et al (2012) Readability analysis of internet-based patient information regarding skull base tumors. J Neurooncol 109:573–580CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Finnie RK, Felder TM, Linder SK et al (2010) Beyond reading level: a systematic review of the suitability of cancer education print and Web-based materials. J Cancer Educ 25:497–505CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Roshan A, Agarwal S, England RJ (2008) Role of information available over the internet: what are the parents of children undergoing tonsillectomy likely to find? Ann R Coll Surg Engl 90:601–605CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Informed Consent | American Medical Association. https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/default/files/media-browser/code-of-medical-ethics-chapter-2.pdf. Accessed 14 Jun 2017
  28. 28.
    Horbach SE, Rigter IM, Smitt JH et al (2016) Intralesional bleomycin injections for vascular malformations: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Plast Reconstr Surg 137:244–256CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Morgan P, Keller R, Patel K (2016) Evidence-based management of vascular malformations. Facial Plast Surg 32:162–176CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hassanein AH, Mulliken JB, Fishman SJ et al (2011) Evaluation of terminology for vascular anomalies in current literature. Plast Reconstr Surg 127:347–351CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Patel PA, Barnacle AM (2017) Re: Disorders of the lymphatic system of the abdomen. Clin Radiol 72:91–92CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Alsafi A, Kaya G, Patel H et al (2013) A comparison of the quality of the information available on the internet on interventional radiology, vascular surgery, and cardiology. J Postgrad Med 59:69–75CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tavare AN, Alsafi A, Hamady MS (2012) Analysis of the quality of information obtained about uterine artery embolization from the internet. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 35:1355–1362CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Carlsson T, Bergman G, Karlsson A-M et al (2015) Content and quality of information websites about congenital heart defects following a prenatal diagnosis. Interact J Med Res 4:e4CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Redmond CE, Nason GJ, Kelly ME et al (2015) Transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy of the prostate: is the information accessible, usable, reliable and readable? Curr Urol 8:32–37CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Is the Lida website assessment tool valid? http://www.minervation.com/does-lida-work/. Accessed 7 Aug 2017

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan H. Pass
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amani H. Patel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sam Stuart
    • 1
  • Alex M. Barnacle
    • 1
  • Premal A. Patel
    • 1
  1. 1.Interventional Radiology, Department of RadiologyGreat Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  2. 2.University College London Medical SchoolUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations