June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Assessment of online websites reliability, content and readability for intravitreal injections
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nadim Rayess
    Byers Eye Institute, Redwood City, California, United States
  • Diana V Do
    Byers Eye Institute, Redwood City, California, United States
  • Ehsan Rahimy
    Palo Alto Medical Foundation, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Nadim Rayess, None; Diana Do, None; Ehsan Rahimy, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 4291. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Nadim Rayess, Diana V Do, Ehsan Rahimy; Assessment of online websites reliability, content and readability for intravitreal injections. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):4291.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose : To compare the quality, completeness, and readability of online source material available to the public regarding intravitreal injections.

Methods : Cross-sectional analysis of the top 20 sites on a google search between October 2019 and November 2019 for the terms eye injections, intravitreal injections and anti-VEGF injections. The sites were classified into one of two groups: private or academic group (which further consisted of academic medical centers and reference sources). Quality was assessed using both the internationally recognized DISCERN criteria and the Health on the Net (HONcode). All 20 sites were independently graded by 2 retinal physicians and differences were adjudicated by a third experienced retinal physician. Readability was assessed using an online tool (readabiltyformulas.com) that provides a consensus readability grade level.

Results : There were 11 academic and 9 private websites that were included in the analysis. The overall mean score using the DISCERN criteria had a significantly higher quality index for the academic websites (3.2 ± 0.4) compared to the private sites (2.4 ± 0.4; P<0.001). Similarly, out of a possible total 14 points for the HONcode, the average quality score for academic websites (11.3 ± 2.6) was significantly higher compared to the private websites (6 ± 2.5; P<0.001). The academic websites performed most weakly on the DISCERN question “What would happen if no treatment was used?” while the private websites scored lowest on: “Is it clear what sources of information were used to compile the publication?” The mean consensus reading grade level was similar between the academic (11.4 ± 1.6) and private websites (12.2 ± 1.5; P=0.23). Spanish translation was offered by only 7 of the 20 websites (5 academic and 2 private websites).

Conclusions : The quality of online content for academic sites was significantly higher compared to private websites with both the DISCERN criteria and HONcode. Furthermore, the readability grade levels of 11 and 12 for the academic and private websites, respectively, was significantly higher than the recommended grade level of 7 by the National Institute of Health. Improving the quality and readability of online content can help patients have a better understanding of intravitreal injections for their ocular disease. Better knowledge may result in increased adherence to therapy plans and the potential for improved treatment outcomes.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.