Quality of Patient Education Sections on Otitis Media Across Different Website Platforms.

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    • Abstract:
      Objective: To determine the quality, content, and readability of patient education materials pertaining to otitis media across several popular online platforms focused on otolaryngology and pediatric primary care education. Methods: Online patient materials related to otitis media and directed toward parents were collected from the American Association for Family Practice (AAFP), ENT-Health section of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Healthychildren.org from the American Academy of Pediatrics, KidsHealth from Nemours, WebMD, and Wikipedia. Materials were analyzed for quality, content, and readability. The DISCERN instrument was used to score quality. A unique content score was generated based on the information provided on each website and on the medical and surgical management of otitis media. Readability scores were calculated using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Flesch Reading Ease Score, Gunning-Fog Index, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, Coleman-Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index. Results: Overall, content was well-balanced. Information from AAFP and Healthychildren.org was focused more on medical management than other sources. The average DISCERN scores showed all sources to be of good quality with minimal shortcomings. The AAFP and KidsHealth websites had some readability scores around the 8th-grade reading level, the National Institute of Health's upper limit recommended for public health information; however, most websites were above this recommended reading level. Conclusion: Patient education materials related to otitis media on academic and certain popular internet sites are good sources to obtain high-quality information on the topic. Patient educational background, prior knowledge and understanding of otitis media, and physician-patient partnership goals should be taken into account when referring patients to online materials. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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