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Carpal tunnel syndrome: Analysis of online patient information with the EQIP tool


Frueh, F S; Palma, A F; Raptis, D A; Graf, C P; Giovanoli, P; Calcagni, M (2015). Carpal tunnel syndrome: Analysis of online patient information with the EQIP tool. Chirurgie de la Main, 34(3):113-121.

Abstract

Patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) actively search for medical information on the Internet. The World Wide Web represents the main source of patient information. The aim of this study was to systematically assess the quality of patient information about CTS in the Internet. A qualitative and quantitative assessment of websites was performed with the modified Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQIP) tool that contains 36 standardized items. Five hundred websites with information on CTS treatment options were identified through Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com and AOL. Duplicates and irrelevant websites were excluded. One hundred and ten websites were included. Only five websites addressed more than 20 items; quality scores were not significantly different between the various providing groups. A median of 15 EQIP items was found, with the top website addressing 26 out of 36 items. Major complications such as median nerve injury were reported in 27% of the websites and their treatment in only 3%. This analysis revealed several critical shortcomings in the quality of the information provided to patients suffering from CTS. There is a collective need to provide interactive, informative and educational websites for standard procedures in hand surgery. These websites should be compatible with international quality standards for hand surgery procedures.

Abstract

Patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) actively search for medical information on the Internet. The World Wide Web represents the main source of patient information. The aim of this study was to systematically assess the quality of patient information about CTS in the Internet. A qualitative and quantitative assessment of websites was performed with the modified Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQIP) tool that contains 36 standardized items. Five hundred websites with information on CTS treatment options were identified through Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com and AOL. Duplicates and irrelevant websites were excluded. One hundred and ten websites were included. Only five websites addressed more than 20 items; quality scores were not significantly different between the various providing groups. A median of 15 EQIP items was found, with the top website addressing 26 out of 36 items. Major complications such as median nerve injury were reported in 27% of the websites and their treatment in only 3%. This analysis revealed several critical shortcomings in the quality of the information provided to patients suffering from CTS. There is a collective need to provide interactive, informative and educational websites for standard procedures in hand surgery. These websites should be compatible with international quality standards for hand surgery procedures.

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1 citation in Web of Science®
1 citation in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reconstructive Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:June 2015
Deposited On:15 Feb 2016 11:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:02
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1297-3203
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.main.2015.04.003
PubMed ID:26022522

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