Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Quinn, EM and Corrigan, MA and McHugh, SM and Murphy, D and O'Mullane, J and Hill, AD and Redmond, HP
2012
Breast cancer information on the internet: Analysis of accessibility and accuracy.
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Studies show internet sourced information often has poor accuracy. However, it is rapidly becoming a major source of patient information. Our aim was to assess accuracy of breast cancer-related information on the internet. The top five breast cancer-related search terms were identified using the commercial program "Wordtracker". These terms were searched using the search-engine "Google" and the top 100 webpages per topic analysed for applicability and accuracy of information. Overall 500 webpages were analysed. 42% were inapplicable to the question asked. Applicable accuracy rates were variable amongst the five terms: "breast cancer symptoms" 84%, "breast cancer care" 87%, "breast cancer stage" 88%, "breast cancer survival" 91% and "breast cancer signs" 78%. Educational websites were more likely to be accurate(p < 0.001) and interest group administered websites less likely to be accurate(p=0.018) than other websites. Finding accurate breast cancer information on the internet is difficult due to large numbers of inapplicable unregulated websites preferentially returned via search engines.
10.1016/j.breast.2012.01.020
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