Readability and suitability of online materials related to the vestibular system in English. (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Purpose: This study investigated the readability and suitability of online information on the vestibular system available in English.
Method: Four search terms (“vertigo” “dizziness” “dizzy” and “nausea”) were entered into 19 country-specific Google domains. The first ten relevant web pages were included. After removing duplicates, a total of 92 webpages were assessed. Their region (Africa, Americas, Europe, Western Pacific, World), type of organisation (commercial and other), and HONcode certification were recorded. Readability was assessed using the FOG, SMOG, and F-K readability formulas. Suitability was assessed using the DISCERN, PEMAT and Plain Language tools.
Results: Online information on the vestibular system was found to have high readability and low to adequate suitability. None of the webpages met the recommended sixth RGL. There were no differences in readability or suitability of web pages based on their region or type of organisation. There was not an even distribution of web pages based on type of organisation, there was a significant difference between mean RGL in the study sample and the recommended sixth RGL, there were significant differences in DISCERN scores based on type of organisation, there were significant differences in PEMAT understandability scores based on region and type of organisation and there were significant differences in plain language scores based on region.
Conclusions: The current information available online on the vestibular system has less than ideal readability and suitability scores. To access information on treatment and management for the number of vestibular disorders that can occur, adequate online information needs to be available for internet users. Improvements in both online information and the methods of accessing this information needs to occur.
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