1. Health

More on Parkinson's Websites

By August 13, 2009

In my last blog entry I started to summarize some of the findings of an analysis I and my colleagues recently conducted on Parkinson's disease websites. Although these analyses revealed some troubling facts concerning these websites, that few cited sources for their content and few were HON certified etc, there were other more encouraging findings as well. Coverage of basic facts about PD at these websites was usually pretty good; symptoms, pathophysiology, potential causes, diagnostic procedures, risk factors and treatments all received coverage. The overall ‘grade’ for the 31 websites reviewed was 75% out of a possible 100%. Many of these sites presented information on upcoming clinical trials and a few even covered the lifestyle changes that necessarily accompany PD. <p>Virtually all had a decent list of links to other relevant websites and few let advertisements distract from content. The overall ‘readability’ level of these websites was appropriately mid-range. The mean Flesch-Kincaid Grade level readability score was 11.78 with a range of 7.1 to 16.0. In short, most PD websites cover basic content on PD in easily understandable language. Few websites however cover the full range of PD concerns including the full range of symptoms and treatment as well as concerns of caregivers. Our site we hope is the exception to this rule.

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