What are women being exposed to? A review of the quality, content and ownership of websites on premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Claire Hardy, Elizabeth Sillence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
An increasing number of people are now turning to the Internet for health information. Internet use is especially likely in women with the clinical condition premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which affects approximately 8% of premenopausal women. However, to date, there has not been a review of the quality of these online resources on PMDD. The aim of the present study was to address this gap by reviewing websites containing PMDD information.

Methods
A search was conducted on three commonly used search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing). The first 50 results were extracted and compared across each search engine results to determine unique resources. After removing inaccessible links, a total of 69 unique websites were reviewed to evaluate their general quality, condition-specific content quality, and ownership.

Results
The websites varied widely in terms of their quality and ownership. Most returned websites were from web providers, U.S. health care providers, and media companies. General quality (e.g., design) was modest; yet, condition-specific content quality was far poorer.

Conclusions
Women are being exposed to a varying degree of quality information about PMDD. Health professionals and website owners of this information should consider this and encourage better online resources to help this patient group. The paper presents the five highest scoring websites that may be used by those with a vested interest in PMDD, such as health professionals or women with PMDD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-189
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Volume26
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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