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Authors Bruce JG, Tucholka JL, Steffens NM, Neuman HB
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Journal J Surg Oncol Volume: 112 Issue: 6 Pages: 575-80
Publish Date 2015 Nov
PubMed ID 26417898
PMC ID 4675620

Breast cancer patients commonly use the internet as an information resource. Our objective was to evaluate the quality of online information available to support patients facing a decision for breast surgery.Breast cancer surgery-related queries were performed (Google and Bing), and reviewed for content pertinent to breast cancer surgery. The DISCERN instrument was used to evaluate websites’ structural components that influence publication reliability and ability of information to support treatment decision-making. Scores of 4/5 were considered “good.”45 unique websites were identified. Websites satisfied a median 5/9 content questions. Commonly omitted topics included: having a choice between breast conservation and mastectomy (67%) and potential for 2nd surgery to obtain negative margins after breast conservation (60%). Websites had a median DISCERN score of 2.9 (range 2.0-4.5). Websites achieved higher scores on structural criteria (median 3.6 [2.1-4.7]), with 24% rated as “good.” Scores on supporting decision-making questions were lower (2.6 [1.3-4.4]), with only 7% scoring “good.”Although numerous breast cancer-related websites exist, most do a poor job providing women with essential information necessary to actively participate in decision-making for breast cancer surgery. Providing easily- accessible, high-quality online information has the potential to significantly improve patients’ experiences with decision-making.

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