Evaluation of Onychomycosis Information on the Internet
May 2019 | Volume 18 | Issue 5 | Editorials | 484 | Copyright © May 2019
Rachel Kang BA,a Shari Lipner MD PhDb
aWeill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY bWeill Cornell Medicine, Department of Dermatology, New York, NY
although it was a top scorer in Readability and Display. This may potentially be explained by a tradeoff between Quality of Information (in terms of amount/technicality) and need for patient comprehensibility. For example, the site appears as a top hit with the search term “nail fungus” but not with the medical term “onychomycosis.” While the AAD website is well-organized with tabs separating informational material, a separate tab with additional information for advanced health-literate patients may be a way to boost Quality without compromising Readability.Overall, the pool of evaluated websites included varied backgrounds (academic, non-profit, commercial, etc.). This study shows that for a disease that may cause significant physical and social discomfort, the presentation of onychomycosis on the web causes concern for the regulation and reliability of health information, with variability in quality and in readability.
The authors have no relevant disclosures.
- Lipner SR, Scher RK. Part I: Onychomycosis: Clinical Overview and Diagnosis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 Jun 27. pii: S0190-9622(18)32188-1.)
- Lipner SR, Scher RK. Part II: Onychomycosis: Treatment and Prevention of Recurrence. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 Jun 27. pii: S0190-9622(18)32187-X.)
- Health on the Net Foundation (HON). The HON Code of Conduct for medical and health Websites. https://www.hon.ch/HONcode.
- Silberg WM, Lundberg GD, Musacchio RA. Assessing, controlling, and assuring the quality of medical information on the Internet: caveant lector et viewor—let the reader and viewer beware. JAMA. 1997; 277:1244-1245.
- Shah A, Lakhani R, Panesar J. Rhinophyma on the Web. Br J Dermatol. 2014; 170:735-758.