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Researchers Find Online Scoliosis Information Is Poor Quality

The quality of web-based information on scoliosis is poor, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Spine.

Shaun Wellburn, from Teesside University in Middlesbrough, U.K., and colleagues evaluated seven websites for scoliosis-related content. Three reviewers used DISCERN, a validated information assessment tool, to evaluate the sites. Websites were also assessed for quality assurance certification with the Health On the Net code.

The researchers observed significant correlations with the DISCERN scores between reviewers 1 and 2 and reviewers 2 and 3. Forty-nine was the highest mean cumulative score for all items achieved by any of the evaluated websites (range, 15 to 80). The Health On the Net code was displayed by only one site.

“Health care professionals should be aware of the content of websites that they recommend to patients,” the authors write. “Websites should be maintained such that content is up to date, evidence-based, impartial, and written in plain language.”

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