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Crowd-sourced ontology for photoleukocoria: Identifying common internet search terms for a potentially important pediatric ophthalmic sign


Staffieri, SE and Kearns, LS and Sanfilippo, PG and Craig, JE and Mackey, DA and Hewitt, AW, Crowd-sourced ontology for photoleukocoria: Identifying common internet search terms for a potentially important pediatric ophthalmic sign, Translational Vision Science and Technology, 7, (1) Article 18. ISSN 2164-2591 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1167/tvst.7.1.18


Purpose: Leukocoria is the most common presenting sign for pediatric eye disease including retinoblastoma and cataract, with worse outcomes if diagnosis is delayed. We investigated whether individuals could identify leukocoria in photographs (photoleukocoria) and examined their subsequent Internet search behavior.

Methods: Using a web-based questionnaire, in this cross-sectional study we invited adults aged over 18 years to view two photographs of a child with photoleukocoria, and then search the Internet to determine a possible diagnosis and action plan. The most commonly used search terms and websites accessed were recorded.

Results: The questionnaire was completed by 1639 individuals. Facebook advertisement was the most effective recruitment strategy. The mean age of all respondents was 38.95 14.59 years (range, 18-83), 94% were female, and 59.3% had children. An abnormality in the images presented was identified by 1613 (98.4%) participants. The most commonly used search terms were: "white," "pupil," "photo," and "eye" reaching a variety of appropriate websites or links to print or social media articles.

Conclusions: Different words or phrases were used to describe the same observation of photoleukocoria leading to a range of websites. Variations in the description of observed signs and search words influenced the sites reached, information obtained, and subsequent help-seeking intentions.

Translational Relevance: Identifying the most commonly used search terms for photoleukocoria is an important step for search engine optimization. Being directed to the most appropriate websites informing of the significance of photoleukocoria and the appropriate actions to take could improve delays in diagnosis of important pediatric eye disease such as retinoblastoma or cataract.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:information-seeking behavior, leukocoria, retinoblastoma
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Ophthalmology and optometry
Research Field:Ophthalmology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Mackey, DA (Professor David Mackey)
UTAS Author:Hewitt, AW (Professor Alex Hewitt)
ID Code:125482
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2018-04-19
Last Modified:2022-08-26
Downloads:112 View Download Statistics

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