Health information quality on the internet for bladder cancer and urinary diversion: a multi-lingual analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • Bladder cancer patients undergoing radical cystectomy and urinary diversion are faced with difficult decisions regarding mode of urinary diversion. Although these patients may use the Internet as a guide to diagnosis and treatment options, online resources remain largely unregulated leading to a great variation in quality of medical information. Further variation in quality is seen between languages. Fortunately, tools such as an automated toolbar developed by the World Health Organization Health on the Net (HON) Foundation exist to assist physicians in recommending quality online health information to patients. We set out to compare and assess the quality of bladder cancer, ileal conduit and orthotopic neobladder web sites in 2016 on the basis of the HON principles for English language.The Google search engine imbedded with the HON toolbar was used to assess 1350 Web sites using the keywords "bladder cancer", "ileal conduit" and "orthotopic neobladder" in English, Italian and Spanish. The first 150 results of each search were identified and screened. A further analysis was completed comparing results between 2009 and 2016.Less than 20% of English, Italian and Spanish "bladder cancer" and urinary diversion ("ileal conduit" and "orthotopic neobladder") web sites are HON-accredited. HON-accredited web sites featured preferentially in the first 50 search results for bladder cancer (P=0.0001) and ileal conduit (P=0.03) web sites. Comparing 2016 results to 2009, percentage of HON-accreditation has not shown statistically significant change (-13%, P=0.23), while overall number of search results has increased (+44%).A lack of validation of bladder cancer sites is present, which is consistent across modes of urinary diversion (orthotopic neobladder and ileal conduit) and languages. It is important that physicians involved in the care of bladder cancer patients undergoing radical cystectomy and urinary diversion participate in the development of informative, ethical, and reliable health Web sites and direct patients to them.

publication date

  • 2018