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Assessment of Internet-Based Information Regarding Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Urinary Incontinence

Minaglia, Steven MD*†; Kaneshiro, Bliss MD; Soules, Karen MD; Harvey, Scott MD; Gryznkowski, Kassondra MD; Millet, Lauren MD; Oyama, Ian A. MD*†

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: January/February 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - p 50–54
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e31823e9fe1
Original Articles

Objective: This study aimed to establish descriptive data on the content, accuracy, and relevance of Internet-based information regarding pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.

Methods: Using the search terms, urinary incontinence, uterine prolapse, dropped uterus, cystocele, and dropped bladder, the first 20 Web sites that appeared in each of 3 highly used search engines were identified. Two experienced reviewers independently evaluated each site for specific content, relevance, and accuracy.

Results: A total of 220 individual sites were identified: government-, university-, and/or society-sponsored sites represented 14.1% of the identified sites. Private parties, community groups, or unknown sponsors represented 73.2% of the sites. Industry represented 12.7% of the sites. The year the site was created was displayed in 45.9% of the sites, although 66.4% of the sites contained a year of update. Overall, 45% of the sites were rated as mostly/completely relevant to the search term and 44% of the sites were rated as mostly/completely accurate. Government-, university-, and/or society-sponsored sites were significantly more likely to be rated mostly/completely relevant and mostly/completely accurate compared with all other site sponsors with P = 0.05 and P = 0.0003, respectively.

Conclusions: Government, university, and/or medical societies sponsor a minority of Web sites compared with other sponsors but provide more comprehensive content that is more relevant and accurate to the topics of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.

Government-, university-, and/or medical society–sponsored Web sites provide more comprehensive, relevant, and accurate information on the topics of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence compared with sites sponsored by other entities.

From the *Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery and †Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI; and ‡Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA.

Reprints: Steven Michael Minaglia, MD, Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, 1319 Punahou St, Suite 824, Honolulu, HI 96744. E-mail:

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

© 2012 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins