International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1257–1262 | Cite as

Quality of information on the internet related to bladder pain syndrome: a systematic review of the evidence

Review Article

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

Bladder pain syndrome (BPS) has an impact on quality of life and available treatments often only provide temporary symptomatic relief. The information provided by websites can be valuable for patient education and management. The hypothesis was to assess medical information available on the internet related to bladder pain syndrome in terms of accuracy, credibility, readability and quality.

Methods

A search was performed in the meta-search engine Copernic Agent, using the search terms “bladder pain syndrome, interstitial cystitis, painful bladder syndrome and pelvic pain”, which simultaneously captured websites from a range of engines. Websites in the English language that were open-access were included. The four quality assessments used were: credibility using a ten-point scale, accuracy based on the American Urological Association guidelines, quality using the DISCERN questionnaire and readability using the Flesch Reading Ease Score. Inter-rater agreement was tested by intra-class coefficient (ICC).

Results

Eighteen suitable websites were identified; 7 (39%) were specialist or specific to BPS. The combined mean scores for accuracy, quality, credibility and readability ranged from 83 to 144 for specialist websites and 76 to 137 for non-specialist ones, with a maximum possible score of 208. There was good inter-observer agreement for the assessments performed with an ICC ranging from 0.80 for DISCERN to 0.53 for readability. Specialist websites had higher quality scores (median difference 10, p = 0.07) and readability scores (median difference 5.4, p = 0.05) compared with non-specialist websites whereas credibility and accuracy scores were no different.

Conclusion

We found four websites that fulfilled our criteria for good quality information.

Keywords

Accuracy Bladder pain syndrome Credibility Internet Interstitial cystitis Readability 

Abbreviations

AUA

American Urological Association

BPS

Bladder pain syndrome

CI

Confidence interval

DMSO

Dimethyl sulfoxide

FRE

Flesch Reading Ease test

ICC

Intra-class co-efficient

PRISMA

Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses

PROSPERO

International Prospective Register for Systematic Reviews

SD

Standard deviation

Supplementary material

192_2013_2091_MOESM1_ESM.doc (63 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 63 kb)

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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Women’s Health Research UnitQueen Mary, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Barts Health NHS TrustThe Royal London HospitalLondonUK
  3. 3.Women’s Health Research Unit, Barts and the London School of MedicineQueen Mary, University of LondonLondonUK

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