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Total hip arthroplasty: what information do we offer patients on websites of hospitals?

Author(s): Brunnekreef Jaap | Schreurs Berend

Journal: BMC Health Services Research
ISSN 1472-6963

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Physicians face a new challenge; the self-educated patient. The internet is an important source that patients use to become self-educated. However, the individual choice for best treatment is difficult. The aim of this study was to investigate what kind of information is offered to total hip arthroplasty patients by internet and what information is appreciated by them. Methods Websites of orthopedic departments of all hospitals in the Netherlands were evaluated. In addition, a cohort of 102 patients, diagnosed with arthritic joint disorders, filled in an online survey and gave their opinion concerning the importance of this information. Results Eighty different orthopedic websites of hospitals were identified. Websites presented information regarding the orthopedic staff surgeon (76%) and the postoperative rehabilitation process (66%). They also offered referral to other orthopedic websites (61%), the opportunity to make an outpatient appointment (21%), and the opportunity to submit an online question (15%). Patients rated the presence of information regarding prosthesis survival as very important (> 70%). However, the information on the type of prosthesis used by the hospital, and survival data of the prosthesis, were only present in ~ 9% and 5% respectively, of the websites. Conclusions The content of health information on websites of hospitals is highly variable for total hip arthroplasty. Information regarding the hip implant and prosthesis survival is highly appreciated by patients, however, mostly absent on orthopedic websites in the Netherlands. The internet provides an enormous potential for orthopedic surgeons to inform the self-educated patient.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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