The quality of information on three common ENT procedures on the Internet.
AffiliationDepartment of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Beaumont Hospital, Beaumont , Road, Dublin 9, Ireland, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CitationIr J Med Sci. 2011 Dec 27.
JournalIrish journal of medical science
AbstractBACKGROUND: The Internet hosts a large number of high-quality medical resources and poses seemingly endless opportunities to inform, teach, and connect professionals and patients alike. However, it is difficult for the lay person to distinguish accurate from inaccurate information. AIM: This study was undertaken in an attempt to assess the quality of information on otolaryngology available on the Internet. METHODS: Sixty appropriate websites, using search engines Yahoo and Google, were evaluated for completeness and accuracy using three commonly performed ENT operations: tonsillectomy (T), septoplasty (S), and myringoplasty (M). RESULTS: A total of 60 websites were evaluated (NT = 20, NM = 20, NS = 20). A total of 86.7% targeted lay population and 13.3% targeted the medical professionals. 35% of the sites included all critical information that patients should know prior to undergoing surgery and over 94% of these were found to contain no inaccuracies. Negative bias towards medical profession was detected in 3% of websites. CONCLUSIONS: In the current climate, with informed consent being of profound importance, the Internet represents a useful tool for both patients and surgeons.
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