Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Consulting 'Dr. Google'

05.07.2010
Study finds much Internet-based sports medicine information is incorrect or incomplete

The quality of online information about the most common sports medicine diagnoses varies widely, according to a study published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS). Therefore, patients who use the Internet to help make medical decisions need to know that the web may not be giving the whole picture.

"The reason that we decided to undertake this study is that patients are presenting to their physicians office with increasing frequency armed with printouts of information obtained from the Internet," said Madhav A. Karunakar, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., and one of the study's authors. "Physicians and patients should be aware that the quality of information available online varies greatly. Additionally, physicians should be prepared to discuss this information with their patients in order to ensure that it is not misinterpreted."

Nearly three-quarters of the U.S. population has access to the Internet, and more than half of those people go online for health-related information at least once a month. However, quality controls over the health information found on the web have not grown at the same rate that Internet use has.

The study's authors chose ten of the most common sports medicine diagnoses and reviewed the online information available on them. The diagnoses reviewed were:

• Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear
• Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear
• Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) tear
• Rotator cuff tear
• Meniscal tear
• Labral tear (shoulder ligament injury)
• Tennis elbow
• Acromioclavicular joint separation (shoulder separation)
• Patellofemoral syndrome (knee pain)
• Osteochondral defect (joint defect)
Using the two most frequently used search engines (Google and Yahoo), the authors reviewed the top ten search results for each diagnosis, looking for completeness, correctness, and clarity of the information. They also recorded the source of the information—whether the site's owner was a nonprofit organization, news source, academic institution, individual, physician, or commercial enterprise.

In terms of content, Dr. Karunakar says, nonprofit sites scored the highest, then academic sites (including medical journal sites), and then certain non-sales-oriented commercial sites (such as WebMD and eMedicine). The least accurate information sources were newspaper articles and personal web sites. Commercial sites with a financial interest in the diagnosis, such as those sponsored by companies selling a drug or treatment device, were very common but frequently incomplete.

"About 20 percent of the sites that turned up in the top ten results were sponsored sites," Dr. Karunakar says. "These site owners are motivated to promote their product, so the information found there may be biased. We also found that these sites rarely mentioned the risks or complications associated with treatment as they are trying to represent their product in the best possible light."

The study's authors suggest that patients be counseled to avoid commercial Web sites, with the exception of the most reputable sites, such as WebMD and eMedicine, and look for the seal of compliance for transparency and accountability from the Health On the Net Foundation (HON). Orthopaedic residents and any health-care professional who may use the Internet as a reference tool during their education are similarly cautioned. The AAOS recommends Your Orthopaedic Connection, or orthoinfo.org, as a resource for patient education information, or if specific to sports medicine, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM).

"Despite its shortcomings, the Internet is the future of how patients will obtain information to make their healthcare decisions," says Dr. Karunakar. "Therefore, patients and physicians need to make sure they are getting that information from reputable, accurate sources."

Disclosure: The authors did not receive any outside funding or grants in support of their research for or preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity.

Lauren Pearson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aaos.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>