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Information on early menopause: is the internet the place to search?

This study found the Australasia Menopause Society website was highly rated for content and quality of information on early menopause.  

In particular Figure 2 from the study results showed information content as follows:

Figure 2.  Information content of early menopause websites.

Figure 2. Information content of early menopause websites. (a) Information content scores of individual websites (maximum score 20); (b) information content scores per topic (maximum score 52). Websites are color-coded according to website category: Commercial (green), Not-for-profit (brown), Medical society (purple) and Government (blue).

Abstract

Objective: Early menopause (EM), menopause before 45 years, affects up to 10% of women. The internet was perceived by women with EM to be the best source of information regarding EM; however, the reality is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the quality and content of easily accessible websites relating to EM.

Methods: The keyword ‘early menopause’ was used for a web search using Google. The first two pages of results, plus an additional five websites, were analyzed for website quality and content by two independent reviewers according to published methodology.

Results: After excluding duplicates, 26 websites were analyzed. Geographical origin of Google domain conferred 32–53% search congruity. Commercial websites (10/26) and inclusion of advertisements (50%) were common. Few websites listed authorship (39%) or provided references (54%), and only 35% were quality certified. Most (54%) had a readability level above recommended. Median score for website content was 9/20. Medical society websites did not rank higher than other website categories for content but more frequently provided references/supporting data (p = 0.017).

Conclusion: Easily accessible websites regarding EM have significant deficiencies in quality and content. This study indicates the need for higher-quality internet resources for women seeking EM information.

Reference

Aleksova J, Kuczynska-Burggraf M, Ranasinha S, Vincent A. Information on early menopause: is the internet the place to search? Climacteric. 2017 Jun;20(3):248-255. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2017.1301920. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Content updated 27 May 2017

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