Readability and quality of online hearing- related information in Spanish.
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Purpose: Previous research has demonstrated that online hearing-related information in English and health information in Spanish is too difficult to read and is of variable quality. This thesis investigated the readability and quality of online hearing-related information in Spanish.
Method: Websites were selected by entering 4 search terms, identified by native Spanish speakers and Google trends, into 22 Google ccTLDS. The first 10 webpages produced by each search that matched the inclusion criteria were selected, providing 44 webpages after removing duplicates. The location and type of the website, the webpage word counts, and whether the websites had HON certification were recorded. In part 1 of the study, readability of the websites was assessed using the Crawford and SOL readability formulas. For part 2, the DISCERN tool was used to rate the quality of the webpages.
Results: Readability measures provided a mean RGL of 8.31, suggesting that over 8 years of education would be required to read and understand this material. The quality of the webpages was variable, with DISCERN scores ranging from 1.5 to 4. The mean DISCERN score was 2.64, corresponding to fair quality. Only 6 webpages had HON certification. Webpages from governmental and non-profit organisation scored significantly higher on the DISCERN than those form commercial origin. A significant positive correlation was found between the DISCERN scores of webpages from commercial and governmental origins and their word counts.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that people searching the internet for hearing-related information in Spanish are likely to find information that is too difficult to read or is of insufficient quality to support understanding regarding their hearing.