Quality and Readability of Information Regarding Total Ankle Arthroplasty Available to Patients on the Internet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sought to evaluate the reliability, comprehensiveness, and readability of ankle arthroplasty information available on the Internet. We evaluated websites based on category, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) criteria, Health on the Net (HON) code, DISCERN score, an author-created Ankle Replacement Index (ARI), and readability metrics. Based on the ARI, 80 (62.5%) websites provided poor information. The mean reading level was 8.96 ± 2.66, which is above the recommended sixth-grade reading level for patient information. Academic websites had the highest mean DISCERN, ARI, and JAMA scores, and a midrange reading level. The government category had high DISCERN and JAMA scores, a fair ARI score, and the lowest reading level. We found significant correlation between website class and DISCERN score, as well as HON code and DISCERN score. Our results suggest that academic and government websites provide more reliable, complete information than other categories and that websites with an HON code contain more reliable information than those without. We recommend that physicians create handouts to point patients to reliable resources and encourage them to critically evaluate information they read online. We also encourage physicians to take part in evaluating and updating information on their practice websites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalFoot and Ankle Specialist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Internet-based intervention
  • ankle replacement arthroplasty
  • information dissemination
  • osteoarthritis
  • patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Podiatry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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