The British Society of Audiology has produced clear guidelines as to how otoscopy should be undertaken; however, no nationally recognised guidelines exist for the wider clinical community. Images of otoscopy appear in many books, journals, magazines and websites.
This study aimed to determine the rate of non-compliance with good practice in images of otoscopy, the seriousness of the breach, and whether this is more common in sites for professionals or the general public.
Google Images was searched using the terms ‘otoscopy’ and ‘ear examination’. A total of 200 images were identified and collated. The images were reviewed for compliance with good practice standards.
Only 12.75 per cent of the images were graded as having no breach of good practice standards.
Professional websites have a responsibility to show best practice. When choosing an image, the source of the image needs to be carefully considered.