A research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine discussed how information about a newly-approved surgical heart procedure was being presented on the websites of 317 US hospitals, and found the information presented was generally very “imbalanced.” An accompanying commentary pointed out that many people seeking health information online do not realize that at a hospital website they might be viewing an “advertisement” rather than an “education portal.”
The researchers looked for 11 well identified possible benefits and 11 important risks associated with the procedure. “But only 23 percent of the hospital websites mentioned even a single risk,” reports MinnPost in a detailed discussion of the two articles.
Medical information on many hospital websites is unbalanced, study finds (MinnPost, January 16, 2015)
Kincaid ML, Fleisher LA, and Neuman MD. “PResentation on Us Hospital Websites of Risks and Benefits of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Procedures.” JAMA Internal Medicine, January 12, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7392. (Abstract)
Schenker Y, and London A. “RIsks of Imbalanced Information on Us Hospital Websites.” JAMA Internal Medicine, January 12, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7400. (Abstract)