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An Evaluation of the Source and Content of Kienböck’s Disease Information on the Internet
Introduction The use of the internet for health-related information continues to increase. Because of its decentralized structure, information contained within the World Wide Web is not regulated. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the type and quality of information on the internet regarding Kienböck’s disease. We hypothesized that the information available on the World Wide Web would be of good informational value.
Materials and Methods The search phrase “Kienböck’s disease” was entered into the five most commonly used internet search engines. The top 49 nonsponsored Web sites identified by each search engine were collected. Each unique Web site was evaluated for authorship and content, and an informational score ranging from 0 to 100 points was assigned. Each site was reviewed by two fellowship-trained hand surgeons.
Results The informational mean score for the sites was 45.5 out of a maximum of 100 points. Thirty-one (63%) of the Web sites evaluated were authored by an academic institution or a physician. Twelve (24%) of the sites were commercial sites or sold commercial products. The remaining 6 Web sites (12%) were noninformational, provided unconventional information, or had lay authorship. The average informational score on the academic or physician authored Web sites was 54 out of 100 points, compared with 38 out of 100 for the remainder of the sites. This difference was statistically significant.
Conclusion While the majority of the Web sites evaluated were authored by academic institutions or physicians, the informational value contained within is of limited completeness. More than one quarter of the Web sites were commercial in nature. There remains significant room for improvement in the completeness of information available for common hand conditions in the internet.
07 April 2020 (online)
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