Sowter, Julie, Astin, Felicity, Dye, Louise, Marshall, Paul and Knapp, Peter (2016) Assessment of the quality and content of website health information about herbal remedies for menopausal symptoms. Maturitas, 88. pp. 16-22. ISSN 0378-5122

Objective: To assess quality, readability and coverage of website information about herbal remedies for menopausal symptoms.
Study design: A purposive sample of commercial and non-commercial websites was assessed for quality (DISCERN), readability (SMOG) and information coverage.
Main outcome measures: Non-parametric and parametric tests were used to explain variability of these factors across types of websites and to assess associations between website quality and information coverage.
Results: 39 sites were assessed. Median quality and information coverage scores were 44/80 and 11/30 respectively. The median readability score was 18.7, similar to UK broadsheets. Commercial websites scored significantly lower on quality (p=0.014), but there were no statistical differences for information coverage or readability. There was a significant positive correlation between information quality and coverage scores irrespective of website provider (r=0.69, p<0.001, n=39).
Conclusion: Overall website quality and information coverage is poor and the required reading level high.

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