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This article is the authors’ final published version in Clinical Ophthalmology, Volume 15, September 2021, Pages 3849 - 3857.

The published version is available at Copyright © Davuluri et al.


Purpose: To evaluate the accuracy, quality, and readability of online information regarding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ocular gene therapy voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna, Spark Therapeutics, Philadelphia, PA, USA).

Methods: Ten online resources about voretigene neparvovec were assessed in this cross-sectional study. A novel 25-question assessment was created to evaluate the information most relevant to patients. Each article was assessed by independent graders using the assessment and the DISCERN instrument. An online readability tool, Readable, was used to assess readability. Accountability was evaluated using the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmarks.

Results: The average questionnaire score for all the articles was 33.93 (SD 11.21, CI 95% ±6.95) out of 100 possible points with significant variation in the content accuracy and quality between the articles (P=0.017). EyeWiki achieved the highest score and MedicineNet the lowest. The mean reading grade for all articles was 12.88 (SD 1.93, CI 95% ±1.19) with significant variation between articles (P=0.001). Wikipedia was the most readable, and the FDA website was the least. None of the articles achieved all four JAMA benchmarks, and only one of the ten articles, EyeWiki, achieved three of the four JAMA benchmarks.

Conclusion: The information available online regarding this FDA-approved ocular gene therapy is generally of low quality, above the average reading level of the general population, and varies significantly between sources. The articles provide incomplete information that is not entirely accurate or easy to read, and as a result, the material would not support patients adequately in their medical decisions and questions about this new therapeutic option.

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