To investigate the readability, comprehensiveness and transparency of web pages about medical abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy.
A cross‐sectional descriptive study of Swedish web pages.
Six systematic searches were performed in Google during January 2017. The first 10 hits of each search were screened, resulting in 46 included Swedish web pages. The web pages were analyzed with readability index (LIX) to investigate readability, inductive manifest content analysis to investigate comprehensiveness, and Journal of the Medical Association benchmarks to investigate transparency.
Median LIX was 29.0 and the largest proportion had LIX 31–40 (N = 17), indicating moderate readability. Visual components were observed in 13 websites. Content analysis resulted in 12 categories illustrating comprehensiveness, but eight of these were only included in ≤50% web pages. With regard to transparency, 29 (63%) adhered to no benchmark, 15 (33%) adhered to one benchmark, and 2 (4%) adhered to two benchmarks. Most web pages were written or reviewed by laypersons (N = 25) and health professionals (N = 11).
The results indicate that web pages about medical abortion have moderate readability, varied comprehensiveness and poor transparency.
Health professionals need to acknowledge the risk of contact with web‐based information about poor quality. There is a need for research that aims to increase the chances that patients encounter high‐quality web‐based information about medical abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy.