Evaluating the reliability and readability of online information on osteoporosis.

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Yurdakul O. V., Kilicoglu M., Bagcier F.

Archives of endocrinology and metabolism, vol.65, pp.85-92, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 65
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.20945/2359-3997000000311
  • Journal Name: Archives of endocrinology and metabolism
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.85-92
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Internet usage for obtaining health-related information is widely popular among patients. However, there are still concerns about the reliability and comprehensibility of online information. The purpose of this study is to investigate the reliability and readability of osteoporosis-related websites. Materials and methods: On April 2, 2020, we searched the term "osteoporosis" on Google (https://www.google.com ). We evaluated the first 200 uniform resource locators (URLs) in the query results regarding typology, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) scores, Health on the Net Foundation Code of conduct (HONcode) certification, Flesch-Kincaid Grade (FKG), and Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) scores.The JAMA scoring system and HONcode stamp were used for assessing the reliability, whereas FKG and SMOG scores were used to assess the readability of online information. Results: Of the 151 analyzed websites, 57 (37.7%) were classified as highly reliable, and 19 (12.6%) were assigned with HONcode certification.The average FKG scores (8.81 +/- 2.21) and SMOG scores (7.63 +/- 1.81) were below the recommended grade, which is considered as easily readable. High reliable information was found to have higher readability scores, thereby representing the difficulty of readability. We observed a weak correlation between the increased reliability of information and decreased readability. Conclusion: Osteoporosis-related content on the internet generally has low reliability. High-reliable information is available online in scientific published materials, health portals, and news. Although the readability of the overall material is acceptable, the high-reliable websites still require high literacy and comprehension skills.