Quality and readability of web-based Arabic health information on COVID-19: An infodemiological study

Halboub, Esam and Al-Ak'hali, Mohammed Sultan and Al-Mekhlafi, Hesham M. and Alhajj, Mohammed Nasser (2021) Quality and readability of web-based Arabic health information on COVID-19: An infodemiological study. BMC Public Health, 21 (1). ISSN 1471-2458, DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10218-9.

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BackgroundThis study sought to assess the quality and readability of web-based Arabic health information on COVID-19.MethodsThree search engines were searched on 13 April 2020 for specific Arabic terms on COVID-19. The first 100 consecutive websites from each engine were analyzed for eligibility, which resulted in a sample of 36 websites. These websites were subjected to quality assessments using the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmarks tool, the DISCERN tool, and Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HONcode) certification. The readability of the websites was assessed using an online readability calculator.ResultsAmong the 36 eligible websites, only one (2.7%) was HONcode certified. No website attained a high score based on the criteria of the DISCERN tool; the mean score of all websites was 31.5 12.55. As regards the JAMA benchmarks results, a mean score of 2.08 +/- 1.05 was achieved by the websites; however, only four (11.1%) met all the JAMA criteria. The average grade levels for readability were 7.2 +/- 7.5, 3.3 +/- 0.6 and 93.5 +/- 19.4 for the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, and Flesch Reading Ease scales, respectively.Conclusion Almost all of the most easily accessible web-based Arabic health information on COVID-19 does not meet recognized quality standards regardless of the level of readability and ability to be understood by the general population of Arabic speakers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; Infodemiology; Health information; Misinformation; Public health; Quality
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2022 07:50
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 07:50
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/26640

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