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Men’s health on the web: an analysis of current resources

  • Jiasian Teh
  • Joe Wei
  • Glen Chiang
  • Tatenda C. Nzenza
  • Damien Bolton
  • Nathan LawrentschukEmail author
Invited Review

Abstract

Introduction

Men’s health research covers a broad range of topics. Men and women face different barriers to health, with men almost universally having a lower life expectancy than women. Access to high-quality information on men’s health topics is potentially an important part of engaging men with medical services. We aim to assess the quality of men’s health resources available on the internet across 4 developed countries using a tier-based rating system as well as the World Health Organisation Health on the Net (HON) standards.

Methods

The Google search engine imbedded with the Health on the Net toolbar was used to assess 357 websites across Australia, Canada, America and United Kingdom using the search term ‘men’s health’. The websites were further subdivided into 3 tiers by 2 independent investigators, with tier 1 websites defined as government or health organisation sponsored, tier 2 websites defined as being sponsored by health services such as private clinics and insurance providers, and tier 3 websites being websites that did not meet criteria for the first 2 tiers.

Results

Overall, 28% of websites were rated as tier 1, 26% as tier 2 and 46% as tier 3. The HONcode accreditation was overall 39% of tier 1 websites. The majority of websites reviewed were in the tier 3 category, and 35% of overall websites being non-health or non-medically related.

Discussion

The lack of ‘relevant’ and HONcode-accredited websites relating to men’s health should be appreciated by health care professionals.

Keywords

Internet Health information seeking Men’s health Men Adult 

Notes

Author contributions

JT, JW and GC: protocol/project development, data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing. TN and DB: project development. NL: protocol/project development, data analysis.

Funding

This research did not receive any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Austin HospitalUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Young Urology Researchers Organisation (YURO)MelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Surgical OncologyPeter MacCallum Cancer CentreMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Austin HospitalHeidelbergAustralia
  5. 5.Department of UrologyAustin HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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