'Prostate Cancer' Information on the Internet: Fact or Fiction?
AuthorMoolla, Y; Adam, A; Perera, M; Lawrentschuk, N
Source TitleCurrent Urology
PublisherOvid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
AffiliationSurgery (Austin & Northern Health)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMoolla, Y., Adam, A., Perera, M. & Lawrentschuk, N. (2020). 'Prostate Cancer' Information on the Internet: Fact or Fiction?. Curr Urol, 13 (4), pp.200-208. https://doi.org/10.1159/000499271.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6977000
Background/Aims: In today's information era, patients often seek information regarding health using the internet. We assessed reliability and validity of internet information regarding 'prostate cancer'. Methods: Search term 'prostate cancer' used on Google website (June 2017). Critical analysis was performed on first 100 hits using JAMA benchmarks, DISCERN score, Health on the Net. Results: 33 500 000 hits returned. Top 100 hits were critically analyzed. Ten links [duplicate links (n = 7), book reviews (n = 1), dead sites (n = 2)] were excluded, therefore 90 were analyzed. Subcategories assessed included: commercial (53.33%), university/medical center (24.44%), government (13.33%); non-governmental/ non-profit organizations (8.89%). Sub-type of information content assessed included: factual (74.44%), clinical trials (18.89%); stories (5.56%); question and answer (1.11%). Website rated as HONcode seal positive (14,44%) or seal negative (85,56%). Website content based on JAMA benchmarks: 0 benchmarks (4.44%), 1 benchmark (16.67%), 2 benchmarks (34.44%), 3 benchmarks (27.78%), 4 benchmarks (16.67%). DISCERN score rated: 'low' score (16-32) = 12 websites (13.33%), 'moderate' score (33-64 points) = 68 websites (75.56%), 'high' score (≥ 65 points) = 10 websites (11.11%). Conclusion: Critical assessment of 'Prostate Cancer' information on the internet, showed that overall quality was observed to be accurate, however majority of individual websites are unreliable as a source of information by itself for patients. Doctors and patients need to be aware of this 'quality vs quantity' discrepancy when sourcing PCa information on the internet.
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