Assessing internet health information on female pelvic floor disorders

Kamran P. Sajadi, Howard B. Goldman, Farzeen Firoozi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: While health information on the Internet on female pelvic floor disorders is abundant, to our knowledge there has been no comprehensive evaluation of the quality of this material. We assessed health information on the Internet using Health on the Net Foundation principles as they pertain to female pelvic floor disorders. Materials and Methods: Web sites were searched using the key words urinary incontinence, vaginal, uterine or pelvic organ prolapse and overactive bladder. The first 150 websites identified for each female pelvic disorder were assessed for Health on the Net Foundation certification using an automated toolbar function. The specific sponsorship of each web site was also recorded. Results: All searched domains for female pelvic floor disorders revealed that most websites were not certified. The certification rate for urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and overactive bladder was 29%, 27% and 27%, respectively. Overall websites were sponsored by for profit commercial entities (44%), urologist/specialty societies (30%), government/educational organizations (16%), nonprofit organizations (9%) and law firms (1%). Nonprofit organizations (40%) and government/educational organization (38%) sponsored websites were more likely to be certified than those sponsored by commercial entities (25%) and urologist/specialty societies (23%) (p = 0.036). Conclusions: The Internet has become a heavily used resource for the distribution and acquisition of health information. Availability notwithstanding, certification and validation are lacking for most sites related to information on female pelvic floor disorders. As we move forward, improvement in the quality of information on the Internet is imperative along with proper guidance to patients using the Internet as a reference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-596
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Volume186
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

Keywords

  • consumer health information
  • internet
  • overactive
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • urinary bladder
  • urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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