Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 3 ( September-December, 2023 ) > List of Articles


Modern Internet Search Analytics and Osseointegration: What are Patients Asking and Reading Online?

Evelyn P Murphy, Gerard A Sheridan, Brian J Page, Michael D Greenstein, Jason S Hoellwarth, Austin T Fragomen, S Robert Rozbruch

Keywords : Cost, Google, Online health information, Osseointegration, Prosthesis, Search analytics

Citation Information : Murphy EP, Sheridan GA, Page BJ, Greenstein MD, Hoellwarth JS, Fragomen AT, Rozbruch SR. Modern Internet Search Analytics and Osseointegration: What are Patients Asking and Reading Online?. 2023; 18 (3):163-168.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1603

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 18-01-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


Background: Osseointegration (OI) limb has been performed for over 30 years and is an example of an advance in technology and surgical technique which has led to improvements in patient mobility and quality of life. An increasing number of patients seek information about osseointegration. The aim of this study was to categorise the most frequently asked questions by patients using the Google search engine and the most frequently accessed websites with the highest return on answers. The secondary aims of this study were to assess the quality of the information provided on those websites and to stratify, by category, which websites provide the best quality information. Materials and methods: Ten permutations and conjugations of the word ‘osseointegration’ were entered into Google. The first fifty ‘People also ask’ and associated websites by Google's machine learning and natural language processing engine were collected for each search term. The Rothwell classification system of questions by topic (Fact, Value, Policy) and websites by category was used (Commercial, Academic, Medical Practice, Single Surgeon Personal, Government, Social Media). Website quality was assessed using the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria (Likert-style rating 0-4). Pearson's Chi-squared and Student's t-tests were performed for statistical analysis as appropriate (significance, p < 0.05). Results: The 10 search terms generated 454 questions and referenced 408 websites. Of the 454 questions generated, the most common question categories were fact (70.8%), value (19.2%), and policy (10%). The most common website type was social media (37.4%). The most common question types were technical details (30.4%), specific activity (20.6%), and cost (14.1%). Only 1.6% of questions related to risks and complications. Generally, website quality was poor with 64.1% having a JAMA score of 0 or 1. Websites that were categorised as ‘Government’ had the highest overall JAMA scores: 71.4% had a score of 4. Conclusion: Based on Google search engine's results, the most commonly asked questions about osteointegration related to technical details, specific activities and cost; only 1.6% related to risks and complications. Interestingly, social media websites represented the highest volume of search result referrals. Overall, the quality of websites was poor with the most factual information coming from governmental websites.

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