Patients screened for colorectal cancer frequently turn to the Internet to improve their understanding of tests used for detection, including colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, fecal occult blood test, and CT colonography.
Dr Elizabeth Sheena John determined the quality and readability levels of online health information.
The screening tools were googled, and the top 20 results of each test were analyzed for readability, accessibility, usability, and reliability.
|80 articles were written at an 11.7 grade level|
|International Journal of Colorectal Disease|
The 80 articles excluded scientific literature and blogs.
The research team found that 80 articles were written at an 11.7 grade level, with CT colonography articles written at significantly higher levels than fecal occult blood test articles.
The researchers found that LIDA showed moderate percentages in accessibility, usability, and reliability.
Dr John's team concluded, "Online health information about colorectal cancer screening tools are written at higher levels than the National Institute of Health, and American Medical Association recommended third to seventh grade levels."
"More patients could benefit from this modality of information if it were written at a level and quality that would better facilitate understanding."