Currency of online breast cancer information

Funda Meric-Bernstam, Muhammad Walji, Smitha Sagaram, Deepak Sagaram, Elmer Bernstam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Consumers are increasingly turning to the Web, expecting to find the latest health information. The purpose of this study was to assess the currency of online breast cancer information. We determined whether nine recent advances in breast cancer management were incorporated into 337 unique breast cancer Web pages. Two reviewers independently assessed content; if a Web page covered appropriate advances it was deemed to be 'current.' Of the 337 Web pages, 89 contained one or more advances. Of the 122 Web pages that had dates of update available, 49% had been updated within 6 months. Only 11%-37% of Web pages covered clinically accepted advances, even among Web pages that were updated after acceptance of the advance into clinical practice. We conclude that online health information is often not sufficiently current. Consumers searching for health information online should always consult an expert clinician before taking action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMEDINFO 2007 - Proceedings of the 12th World Congress on Health (Medical) Informatics
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding Sustainable Health Systems
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781586037741
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event12th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2007 - Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Duration: Aug 20 2007Aug 24 2007

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Other12th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2007
CityBrisbane, QLD


  • breast neoplasms
  • internet
  • medical informatics
  • patient satisfaction


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