The quality of internet information relating to oral leukoplakia

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Objectives: The Internet provides great opportunities for patient healthcare education, but poses risks that inaccurate, outdated or harmful information will be disseminated. Our objective was determine the quality of the information available on the internet in relation to oral leukoplakia. Study design: Sites were identified using 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN), and the search term ?oral leukoplakia?. The first 100 consecutive sites in each search were visited and classified. The websites were evaluated for quality of content by using the validated DISCERN rating instrument and the JAMA benchmarks; the existence of the Health on the Net (HON) seal was also registered. Results: The Google search yielded 54.300 sites for oral leukoplakia, while Yahoo yielded 243.000 and MSN 103.000. We reviewed 21 Google websites, 20 Yahoo websites and 19 MSN. Based on the JAMA benchmarks, only 4 sites (19.1%) met the four criteria in the Google search, versus 2 sites (10%) in the Yahoo and 5 (26.3%) in MSN. With the DISCERN instrument, no site obtained the maximum score, with Google 13 sites presented serious deficiencies (61.9%), in the Yahoo search 14 (70%), and in MSN 15 (78.9%). Lastly, 4 of the Google sites (19.1%), four of the Yahoo sites (20%) and 2 (10.5%) MSN sites presented the HON seal. Conclusions: The quality of the health care information related to oral leukoplakia on the internet is poor
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López Jornet, María Pía ; Camacho Alonso, Fabio. The quality of internet information relating to oral leukoplakia. En: Medicina oral, patología oral y cirugía bucal. Ed. inglesa, 15 5 2010: 11-