Assessment of the quality and content of website health information about herbal remedies for menopausal symptoms

Julie Sowter, Felicity Astin, Louise Dye, Paul Marshall, Peter Knapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

ObjectiveTo assess the quality, readability and coverage of website information about herbal remedies for menopausal symptoms.Study designA purposive sample of commercial and non-commercial websites was assessed for quality (DISCERN), readability (SMOG) and information coverage.Main outcome measuresNon-parametric and parametric tests were used to explain the variability of these factors across types of websites and to assess associations between website quality and information coverage.Results39 sites were assessed. Median quality and information coverage scores were 44/80 and 11/30 respectively. The median readability score was 18.7, similar to UK broadsheets. Commercial websites scored significantly lower on quality (p = 0.014), but there were no statistical differences for information coverage or readability. There was a significant positive correlation between information quality and coverage scores irrespective of website provider (r = 0.69, p < 0.001, n = 39).ConclusionOverall website quality and information coverage are poor and the required reading level high.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalMaturitas
Volume88
Early online date4 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

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