Evaluating the Quality and Readability of Information Online Surrounding Diet and Warfarin Therapy
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background The use of the internet as a resource for acquiring health-related information concerning conditions and treatment options is becoming increasingly prevalent. However, not all literature contained within websites is produced from accredited sources, often varying in quality, readability, objectivity and remaining largely unregulated. The aim if this research is to evaluate the quality and readability of websites surrounding diet and warfarin therapy. Methods Sample website (n=25) quality and readability were evaluated using criteria adapted from a previously validated tool and readability formula. Results 72% (n=18) of websites achieved ‘moderate’ overall rating based on reliability and content quality. Commercial websites achieved the highest mean scores in regards to reliability and quality and not for profit websites achieved the highest mean score for overall rating. Readability for all websites was considered poor, indicating the use of complex language. One (4%) website included information on all warfarin-nutrient interactions within the evaluation criteria. 8% (n=2) and 16% (n=4) of websites provided information on alternative anticoagulation treatment and shared decision making, respectively. Conclusion Although website overall rating is considered ‘moderate’, readability of information is poor, questioning efficacy to warfarin patients as a meaningful resource. Only one website in this study included details of the warfarin-nutrient interactions specified within current UK guidelines. Additionally, results indicate a lack of support in terms of therapeutic options and direction for support, reinforcing the need to increase awareness and knowledge levels of warfarin therapy.
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