Web Geekery in Recent Literature: 4/3/08

J Am Coll Radiol. 2008 Apr;5(4):593-7.
Quality of CT colonography-related web sites for consumers.
Sheran J, Dachman AH.

Department of Radiology, University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.

PURPOSE: Patients often request to undergo computed tomographic colonography (CTC) from radiologists or referring physicians on the basis of their personal examination of information on the Web. Therefore, the authors examined the information on CTC and virtual colonoscopy available for consumers on the Web to assess its quality. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The term virtual colonoscopy was entered into 3 popular search engines: Google, Yahoo, and MSN. In each case, evaluation was limited to the first 50 Web sites, or hits, which were recorded and analyzed for content, comprehensiveness, and accuracy. RESULTS: Sixty-seven Web sites were deemed appropriate for further analysis. More than half of the sites reported currency dates more than 2 years old. Only a third of the sites included information about the risk factors for colorectal cancer. About a third of the sites did not explain the indications for the use of CTC, and the remaining sites lacked consistent descriptions of the indications. Few Web sites offered or described the option of performing same-day optical colonoscopy for patients with abnormal results on CTC. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that patients are often armed with very incomplete information from Web sites on CTC. Web sites were often found to be outdated, to contain conflicting information, and were lacking descriptions of patient risk factors for colorectal cancer. Several suggestions are made to improve the dissemination of comprehensive, current, and accurate information.

PMID: 18359448


Hum Reprod. 2008 Mar 27 [Epub ahead of print]
Infertility information on the World Wide Web: a cross-sectional survey of quality of infertility information on the internet in the UK.
Marriott JV, Stec P, El-Toukhy T, Khalaf Y, Braude P, Coomarasamy A.

Assisted Conception Unit, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Thomas Guy House, Guys Hospital, 4th Floor, London SE1 9RT, UK.

BACKGROUND The internet is a frequently used source of information for infertile couples. Previous studies suggested that the quality of health information on the internet is poor. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of websites providing information on infertility and its management in the UK. Differences between website types and affiliations were assessed. METHODS A Google search for the keyword ‘infertility’ was performed and 107 relevant websites were identified and categorized by type. Websites were assessed for credibility, accuracy and ease of navigation using predefined criteria. RESULTS The total scores for all types of websites were low, particularly in the accuracy category. Websites affiliated to the UK National Health Service (NHS) scored higher than those affiliated to private fertility clinics and other clinics providing non-conventional fertility treatment. Specifically, NHS websites were more likely to report success rates (92.9% versus 60% and 0%, P PMID: 18372253


Am J Pharm Educ. 2008 Feb 15;72(1):10.
Online social networking issues within academia and pharmacy education. [Free full text]
Cain J.

University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, USA.

Online social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are extremely popular as indicated by the numbers of members and visits to the sites. They allow students to connect with users with similar interests, build and maintain relationships with friends, and feel more connected with their campus. The foremost criticisms of online social networking are that students may open themselves to public scrutiny of their online personas and risk physical safety by revealing excessive personal information. This review outlines issues of online social networking in higher education by drawing upon articles in both the lay press and academic publications. New points for pharmacy educators to consider include the possible emergence of an “e-professionalism” concept; legal and ethical implications of using online postings in admission, discipline, and student safety decisions; how online personas may blend into professional life; and the responsibility for educating students about the risks of online social networking.

PMID: 18322572


Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2008 Feb 15;71(3):441-4.
SCAI launches seconds-count.org: An interventional cardiology resource for patients and physicians.
Weiner BH, Marshall JJ.

St Vincent Hospital at Worcester Medical Center, Worcester, MA 01608, USA. president@scai.org

PMID: 18288740

[Okay, not a lot in the abstract, but check out the site.]

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