Assessment of Online Resources for Returning to School During and After Treatment of Childhood Cancer

Kathy Jeanne Ruble, Elizabeth Juliana Paré-Blagoev, Stacy Lorine Cooper, Lisa Anne Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate current online parent education resources for children returning to school after a cancer diagnosis. Online search was conducted using 3 search engines and terms recommended by affected families. Sites were evaluated by 3 reviewers for understandability and actionability (scored 0–100%) using the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). Readability was assessed using Flesch-Kincaid (grade K-12) and content comprehensiveness by a clinical expert review for 5 late effect domains (scored 0–100%). A total of 56 unique online resources were evaluated. Mean understandability and actionability scores were 54% (range 17–83) and 36% (range 0–83) respectively. The mean Flesch-Kincaid grade level was 10th grade (mode 12th). Comprehensiveness of domain coverage was 34% (mode 20%). Some high-quality materials for this topic are available, but generally low scores on the PEMAT scales and high reading level estimates on Flesch-Kincaid indicate parents may have difficulty understanding and using the information. The low scores for comprehensiveness of information indicate parents will likely need to access multiple sources for complete information. A table provides the names, website (URL), and scoring for the 24 top-rated sites and can be used to make recommendations to parents with improved confidence in quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)876-884
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Childhood cancer
  • Online resources
  • Patient education
  • School reentry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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