Quality of internet health information on thumb carpometacarpal joint arthritis. Rhode Island medical journal (2013) Kamal, R. N., Paci, G. M., Daniels, A. H., Gosselin, M., Rainbow, M. J., Weiss, A. C. 2014; 97 (4): 31-35

Abstract

The Internet has become a heavily used source of health information. No data currently exists on the quality and characteristics of Internet information regarding carpometacarpal (CMC) arthritis.The search terms "cmc arthritis," "basal joint arthritis," and "thumb arthritis" were searched using Google and Bing. Search results were evaluated independently by four reviewers. Classification and content specific review was performed utilizing a weighted 100-point information quality scale.Of the 60 websites reviewed, 27 were unique pages with 6 categorized as academic and 21 as non- academic. Average score on content specific review of academic websites was 56.8 and for non-academic was 42.7 (p=0.054). Average Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level for academic websites was 12.4, and for non-academic was 9.9 (p=0.015).Internet health information regarding thumb CMC arthritis is primarily non-academic in nature, of generally poor quality, and at a reading level far above the U.S. average reading level of 6th grade. Higher-quality websites with more complete content and appropriate readability are needed.The quality of Internet health information regarding thumb CMC arthritis is suboptimal.

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