Arthroplasty information on the internet: quality or quantity?
AuthorDavaris, MT; Dowsey, MM; Bunzli, S; Choong, PF
Source TitleBone and Joint Journal
PublisherBritish Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery
University of Melbourne Author/sDowsey, Michelle
AffiliationSurgery (St Vincent's)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsDavaris, M. T., Dowsey, M. M., Bunzli, S. & Choong, P. F. (2020). Arthroplasty information on the internet: quality or quantity?. Bone & Joint Open, 1 (4), pp.64-73. https://doi.org/10.1302/2633-1462.14.BJO-2020-0006.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7659687
Aims: Total joint replacement (TJR) is a high-cost, high-volume procedure that impacts patients' quality of life. Informed decisions are important for patients facing TJR. The quality of information provided by websites regarding TJR is highly variable. We aimed to measure the quality of TJR information online. Methods: We identified 10,800 websites using 18 TJR-related keywords (conditions and procedures) across the Australian, French, German and Spanish Google search engines. We used the Health on the Net (HON) toolbar to evaluate the first 150 websites downloaded for every keyword in each language. The quality of information on websites was inspected, accounting for differences by language and tertiles. We also undertook an analysis of English websites to explore types of website providers. Results: 'Total joint replacement' had the most results returned (150 million websites), and 9% of websites are HON-accredited. Differences in information quality were seen across search terms (p < 0.001) and tertiles (p < 0.001), but not between languages (p = 0.226). A larger proportion of HON-accredited websites were seen from keywords in the condition and arthroplasty categories. The first tertile contained the highest number of HON-accredited websites for the majority of search terms. Government/educational bodies sponsored the majority of websites. Conclusion: Clinicians must consider the shortage of websites providing validated information, with disparities in both number and quality of websites for TJR conditions and procedures. As such, the challenge for clinicians is to lead the design of reliable, accurate and ethical orthopaedic websites online and direct patients to them. This stands to reward both parties greatly.
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