Home 2018 Abstracts Hip Resurfacing Arthroplasty: What Are Our Patients Reading On The Internet?

Hip Resurfacing Arthroplasty: What Are Our Patients Reading On The Internet?

Paul Yi (Johns Hopkins Department of Radiology), Deepak Nallur (University of California Davis), Rohith Mohan (Boston University School of Medicine), Kevin Wong (Boston University School of Medicine)

Background

Hip resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA) is an alternative to total hip arthroplasty for young, active patients with hip osteoarthritis. As patients increasingly educate themselves on the Internet, it is crucial that information presented online is credible.

Objectives

The purpose of our study was to (1) assess the authorship and content of HRA-related patient education websites, and (2) assess the impact of different search terms on these measures.

Methods

We searched three search engines (Bing, Google, and Yahoo!) using the search term, “Hip Resurfacing.” The first 50 websites from each search engine were assessed for authorship and content (e.g., mention of benefits and risks) using a previously published protocol. We then performed another search in Google using a more technical search term, “Hip Resurfacing Arthroplasty.” We compared the proportion of specific authorship/content items among the websites and between the two search terms using Fisher’s Exact Test.

Results

HRA-related information on the Internet varies in quality, with many websites mentioning benefits over risks or descriptions of the procedure, without citing peer-reviewed literature. Many websites may thus be tailored more towards attracting new patients than providing balanced patient education. The use of a more technical search term, however, may yield more balanced educational materials.

Conclusion

HRA-related information on the Internet varies in quality, with many websites mentioning benefits over risks or descriptions of the procedure, without citing peer-reviewed literature. Many websites may thus be tailored more towards attracting new patients than providing balanced patient education. The use of a more technical search term, however, may yield more balanced educational materials.

Implications for the Patient

Poor-quality patient educational materials may contribute to decreased health literacy, which has been linked to poor surgical outcomes and increased healthcare expenditures. This represents a a potential area to increase value and quality of patient education for orthopaedic procedures, the principles of which can be applied towards other surgical fields.