Relative quality of internet-derived gastrointestinal cancer information

David S Y Chan, Anita Willicombe, Thomas D Reid, Ceri Beaton, David Arnold, James Ward, I Llion Davies, Wyn G Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Internet-derived health care information is increasingly accessed by patients, yet its quality and accuracy is variable and unregulated. The aim of this study was to assess the information available regarding common gastrointestinal cancers via three internet search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing). The top 30 websites for each of the terms: oesophageal, gastric, pancreatic, colon and rectal cancer were evaluated (University of Michigan Consumer Health Website Checklist) and scored [-80 (poor) to 90 (excellent)]. The median score was 53 (-7 to 81) and was significantly higher for oesophageal (61) and pancreatic (65) cancer websites, compared with gastric (49), colon (48) and rectal cancer (50) (p = 0.014). Median scores related to charitable organisations were significantly better than academic, commercial, news agency, care provider, layperson and medical information websites collectively (79 vs. 42, p < 0.0001). Overall quality of internet-derived gastrointestinal cancer information remains poor and patients and clinicians should be aware.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-9
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Information Services
  • Internet
  • Medical Informatics
  • Neoplasms
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Journal Article

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