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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