Urologists in cyberspace. A review of the quality of health information from American urologists’ websites using three validated tools
Keywords:internet quality, urology, health information, HONcode, DISCERN, LIDA tool
- To evaluate a sample of urologists’ websites, based in the United States of America (USA), using three validated instruments: the Health on the Net Foundation code of conduct (HONcode), DISCERN and LIDA tools.
- To discuss how medical websites can be improved.
Materials and Methods:
- The 10 most populous cities in America , identified from the US Census Bureau, were searched using www.google.com to identify the first ten websites using the terms “urologist + city”.
- Each website was scored using the HONcode, DISCERN and LIDA instruments.
- The median score for each tool was used to dichotomize the cohort and multivariable logistic regression used to identify independent predictors of higher scores.
- Of the 100 websites found, 78 were analysed. There were 18 academic institutions, 43 group and 17 solo practices. A medical website design service had been used by 18 websites. The HONcode badge was seen on 3 websites (4%). Social media was used by 16 websites.
- Multivariable logistic regression showed predictors of higher scores for each tool were:
- HONcode - academic centers (OR 6.8, CI 1.2-37.3, p=0.028) and use of medical website design service (OR 17.2, CI 3.8-78.1, p=0.001);
- DISCERN - academic centres (OR 23.13, p=0.002, CI 3.15-169.9 and group practices (OR 7.19, p=0.022, CI 1.33-38.93).
- LIDA tool - there were no predictors of higher scores.
- Pearson correlation did not show any correlation between the three scores
- Using 3 validated tools for appraising online health information, we found a wide variation in quality of urologists’ websites in America.
- Increased awareness of standards and available resources, coupled with guidance from health professional regulatory bodies, would improve the quality health information on medical websites.
How to Cite
You, the Author(s), assign your copyright in and to the Article to the Canadian Urological Association. This means that you may not, without the prior written permission of the CUA:
- Post the Article on any Web site
- Translate or authorize a translation of the Article
- Copy or otherwise reproduce the Article, in any format, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so
- Copy or otherwise reproduce portions of the Article, including tables and figures, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so.
The CUA encourages use for non-commercial educational purposes and will not unreasonably deny any such permission request.
You retain your moral rights in and to the Article. This means that the CUA may not assert its copyright in such a way that would negatively reflect on your reputation or your right to be associated with the Article.
The CUA also requires you to warrant the following:
- That you are the Author(s) and sole owner(s), that the Article is original and unpublished and that you have not previously assigned copyright or granted a licence to any other third party;
- That all individuals who have made a substantive contribution to the article are acknowledged;
- That the Article does not infringe any proprietary right of any third party and that you have received the permissions necessary to include the work of others in the Article; and
- That the Article does not libel or violate the privacy rights of any third party.