Conflict of interest: Nothing to declare.
Perspectives on quality and content of information on the internet for adolescents with cancer†
Version of Record online: 15 FEB 2011
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Pediatric Blood & Cancer
Volume 57, Issue 1, pages 97–104, 15 July 2011
How to Cite
Stinson, J. N., White, M., Breakey, V., Chong, A. L., Mak, I., Low, K. K. and Low, A. K. (2011), Perspectives on quality and content of information on the internet for adolescents with cancer. Pediatr. Blood Cancer, 57: 97–104. doi: 10.1002/pbc.23068
- Issue online: 9 MAY 2011
- Version of Record online: 15 FEB 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 23 NOV 2010
- Comprehensive Cancer Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children
- Ministry of Health and Long-term Care Career Scientist Award
- Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario
- pediatric cancer;
- patient education;
- quality of information;
To assess the quality and content of Internet information about cancer from the perspectives of adolescents with cancer (AWC), their parents and healthcare professionals (HCP).
Key words relevant to pediatric cancer were searched across 6 search engines. Quality of information was appraised using the DISCERN tool. Website content completeness, accuracy, readability, cultural sensitivity, and desirability were assessed.
Only 29 websites had DISCERN scores above 50 (indicating fair quality; mean 55.76 ± 8.23, range 42.50–70.5). The majority of sites targeted parents and only four (14%) were specific to AWC. Overall completeness of the sites was rated 11.46 out of 20 (±3.60; range 4–17.5) and accuracy was rated 4/4, indicating high accuracy with moderate completeness. The average SMOG score was 11.87 (±2.51, range 7.7–18.67) and the Flesch Reading Ease score was 57.44 (±16.94, range 9.1–92.4) indicating that the material was too difficult to read. The average cultural sensitivity scores for the Format, Written message and Visual material scales were 3.08/4 (±0.53, range 2–4), 3.48/4 (±0.41, range 2.6–4) and 2.84/4 (±1.03, range 0–4) indicating the websites were adequately culturally sensitive. On Average, websites had 4/21 features from the desirability checklist, indicating the sites had low desirability.
Given the paucity of high quality Internet health information at an appropriate reading level for AWC there is a critical need for HCP's to develop Internet programs to meet their unique needs. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2011;57:97–104. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.