Readability levels of patient information texts regarding cataract surgery on websites
Asena Keles Sahin, Enes Uyar
This study aimed to evaluate the contents and readability levels of the texts on cataract surgery on Turkish websites. A total of 300 websites were searched by the Google (www.google.com.tr) search engine using the keywords ‘cataract surgery’, ‘phaco’ and ‘phacoemulsification’. Readability values of the informative texts on the websites were analysed were calculated using the Atesman and Bezirci-Yılmaz formulas. Sites prepared by private hospitals or medical centres constituted group 1, individual sites of ophthalmologists constituted group 2, and sites providing general health information that did not belong to group 1 or group 2 constituted group 3. In total, health information presented in 85 websites was analysed. According to Atesman and Bezirci-Yılmaz, the mean readability values were 49.6 ± 7.5 and 12.9 ± 2.8, respectively. There was no statistically significant inter-group difference in terms of the average number of sentences, of words, of words with four or more syllables and of syllables (p = 0.579, p = 0.434, p = 0.236 and p = 0.336, respectively). The readability values of groups 1 and 3 were significantly different according to the Atesman and Bezirci-Yılmaz formulas (p = 0.025 and p = 0.023, respectively). In terms of content, groups 1 and 2 had relatively more comprehensive information. The readability level of information texts related to cataract surgery on Turkish websites is above the academic level recommended according to the education level of Turkey. In order to help patients make medical decisions using these websites, it is imperative to revise the contents of health information related to cataract according to the literacy level of Turkish people.
Key words: Cataract, phacoemulsification, internet, readability