Bellon-Harn, M. L., Manchaiah, V. & Kunda, K.
Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 24(3), 228-250.
Publication year: 2020

Objective: Healthcare professionals and other stakeholders have expressed concerns about the quality of information provided on Internet-based sources. The current study examines the quality, readability and suitability of English-language Internet information about children with speech and language disorders (S/LD).

Method: The 100 most freqeuntly viewed websites related to child speech and language disorder were idenfified. Origin of website was examined. Websites were analyzed to ascertain their readability, quality, and suitability. Statistical calculations were employed to examine website ratings, differences between website origin and readability, quality and suitability scores, and correlations between instruments.

Results: A majority of the websites were of a commercial origin. Results indicated high readability across all websites. Quality was rated as low and no differences between website origin was noted. The websites were generally rated as having adequate suitability, though learning stimulation and motivation was rated least suitable. There was limited association between website quality, readability and suitability.

Conclusions: Readability, quality and suitability of information are important components in the accessibility of health information for people with different health conditions. In order to incorporate Internet-based information in their practice, professionals need to be aware of the limits and benefits of available information.