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Int Urogynecol J. 2015 Apr;26(4):551-5. doi: 10.1007/s00192-014-2538-z. Epub 2014 Oct 25.

Quality of information on pelvic organ prolapse on the Internet.

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The Division of Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, The Christ Hospital, The University of Cincinnati, 2123 Auburn Avenue Suite 307, 45219, Cincinnati, OH, USA.



This study aimed to determine the quality of available patient-centered information for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) on the Internet using a modified validated scale.


Two independent investigators using three search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) searched and reviewed the top 30 unique sites for four terms: bladder prolapse; dropped bladder; uterine prolapse; dropped uterus. A total of 219 websites were reviewed by both reviewers excluding redundancies. A two-stage, 6-point rating scale with score range per question of 0-5 was developed from the DISCERN instrument. Also recorded was whether a site had Health On the Net (HON) Foundation certification. The 400 sites were (as stated) a separate search where in the the domain suffix for the top 100 sites per serach term was recorded.


The summary of 400 sites reviewed across the four search terms identified 64 % .com, 19 % .org, 8 % .edu, 6 % other and 3 % .gov; .gov yielded the highest quality information. Only 23 (9.5 %) sites were HON certified, yet these sites possessed higher DISCERN scores (pā€‰<ā€‰0.0001). For the three questions referencing conservative treatments (i.e., pessary, physical therapy, watchful waiting), 115 (52 %) sites indicated a summed mean score of ā‰¤3, indicating less complete information regarding these treatments.


Web-based information available to women regarding treatment for POP based on the modified DISCERN instrument is incomplete and biased toward surgical treatments. Government-sponsored websites (.gov) appear to provide the best quality information regarding this condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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