The quality and accessibility of anaesthesia-related information available to patients on the Internet is a growing concern for the specialty. We sought to evaluate the quality of anaesthesia-related websites using a simple scoring system. The scoring system comprised quality and technical scores individually, and these were also combined into a total score. Test-retest reliability was assessed by calculating intraclass correlation coefficients. We employed the four most popular search engines and one meta-search engine, using the search term "general anaesthesia". Only the first 10 sites retrieved were scored. The intraclass correlation coefficients for all terms demonstrated at least moderate agreement and the total scores demonstrated high consistency r = 0.852, 0.774 (P <0.001, and P <0.003 respectively). There were 18 duplicate websites and 32 were scored. There was no difference between search engines for any of the three scores awarded. The majority of websites were rated as either 'poor' or fair' across all scores. Our study indicates that quality anaesthesia-related information is unlikely to be retrieved by patients using the Internet.
|Journal||Anaesthesia and Intensive Care|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|