Accuracy and completeness of patient information in organic world-wide web search for Mohs surgery: A prospective cross-sectional multirater study using consensus criteria

Christopher J. Miller, Isaac M. Neuhaus, Joseph F. Sobanko, Emir Veledar, Murad Alam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Many patients obtain medical information from the Internet. Inaccurate information affects patient care and perceptions. Objective To assess the accuracy and completeness of information regarding Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) on the Internet. Methods Prospective cross-sectional Internet-based study reviewing 30 consecutive organic results from three U.S. urban areas on "Mohs surgery" using Google. Text was assessed using a consensus-derived rating scale that quantified necessary and additional or supplementary information about MMS, as well as wrong information. Websites were classified according to type of sponsor. Results Ninety-one percent of sites conveyed basic information about MMS. There was variation in the mean amount of additional information items (range 0-9) according to website type: 8.4, medical societies; 6.7, academic practices; 5.9, web-based medical information resources; 4.7, private practices; and 4.4, other (p <.001). Cumulatively, academic practices and professional societies (mean 7.42) provided more additional information than private practices and web-based sources (mean 5.11, p <.001). There were no differences based on geographic location. Wrong items included misspelling Mohs (10%), indicating that only plastic surgeons could reconstruct (7%), and noting MMS was never cost-effective (7%). Conclusions High-ranking websites provide basic information about MMS. Academic practice and professional society sites provide more-comprehensive information, but private practice sites and web-based medical information sources also provide additional information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1654-1661
Number of pages8
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Volume39
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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