OBJECTIVES Given the widespread use of the Internet and today’s trend to search for medical information on the Net, it is plausible to assume that orthodontic or gnathological patients seek information on the web. However, since there is no limitation nor control over the upload of digital contents, it’s possible that laypeople come across untrue or unreliable information. This study aims to assess the quality of orthodontic and gnathological digital information that can be found online by Italian patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS Ten search phrases were written using Google Search Predictions, after deleting cookies and search history from the browser. Out of these phrases, the most significant ones were selected. Therefore, 6 different searches were conducted on Google. For each search, 10 websites were selected. The quality of information of each website was assessed using the DISCERN tool by two independent examiners.The quality of the websites was measured by calculating, by means of DISCERN, the following scores: mean overall score (PCM), mean reliability score (PAM), mean information score (PIM). The websites, categorized for each search, were then divided into 5 groups: very poor, poor, mediocre, good, and excellent information quality. Descriptive statistics was used to compare the quality of the information obtained by entering the six different search key words. RESULTS Less than 25% of the websites reached a “good” quality level. None of the selected websites was evaluated “very poor”, only 2 websites were “excellent”. The mean of PCM of the websites found with the research “tempo apparecchio per i denti” (“timing of braces for the teeth”) was the highest. The lowest PIM values were recorded for the websites found by typing “gnatologia” (“gnathology”). The reliability of the sources was low for all the searches carried out, and the highest PAM mean stands at 25.50/40. There is variability in the quality and reliability of contents available online, so those who are not in the sector may find it difficult to discern between valid sources and websites that report inaccurate, non-evidence-based or incomplete information. Unfortunately, patients would not receive an adequate level of information even if they selected only dental websites from those indexed on Google: in fact, the quality of information of dental websites in Italian resulted to be generally mediocre. CONCLUSIONS The quality of orthodontic information available online resulted to be mediocre. Patients who seek information on the web should be cautious in trusting what they find. It is advisable that health care providers post online only contents based on solid scientific evidence. Furthermore, clinicians and scientific societies should use the DISCERN tool as a guide to organize their digital publications and to check their quality before the upload. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE Orthodontists should place emphasis on the interview with the patient, in order to prevent misinformation and preserve patients’ health.
|Titolo tradotto del contributo||[Autom. eng. transl.] What is the quality of the orthodontic information on the net? What’s the quality of online orthodontic information?|
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2022|