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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2006 Dec;22(12):669-75.

Assessing the content and quality of information on the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis on the World Wide Web.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Zaragoza Gynecological Institute, Zaragoza, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the content and quality of currently available Internet-based information on the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

DESIGN:

A sample was obtained comprising the 75 top sites retrieved with the Google search engine using 'treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis' and then evaluated according to predefined general and specific criteria, content type, language and quality. Using a systematic scoring tool, each site was assessed for factual information provided and site quality.

RESULTS:

The sites studied were heterogeneous in content and quality. The most frequent type of website corresponded to non-profit organizations (n = 40), followed by commercial sites (n = 19), professional sites (n = 8) and government sites (n = 8). There were no significant differences in the popularity index, medical content score or quality score among the four groups of sites. Twelve websites were papers published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Few sites provided comprehensive medical and complete information on the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis oriented towards consumers. The consumer-oriented webpage with the most balanced and complete information was that of the National Osteoporosis Foundation which, at the same time, had the highest popularity index of all the resources studied.

CONCLUSION:

The content and quality of websites concerning the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis are highly varied and sometimes biased. The most frequent high-quality information corresponds to peer-reviewed medical journals. It is necessary to increase the number of resources, with rigorous language that is understandable for consumers, in relation to the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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