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2019 | 2 | 1 | 36-43
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Sources of medical information of patients referred to colorectal surgery outpatient clinic for hemorrhoidal disease

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Background We surveyed patients with hemorrhoids about their behavior regarding searching for information about that disease and confronted it with data obtained from Google Trends website and Google searches. We aimed to determine sources of information on hemorrhoids used by patients. Secondary aim was to assess the quality of information provided by Internet in particular. Material and methods We collected 78 surveys from patients of the outpatient surgical clinic at Medical University of Gdańsk, in which we asked about sources of information about hemorrhoids. We used Google Trends to analyze most often used search queries associated with that topic. In result, we analyzed the content of top 10 Google search results of that queries in order to verify reliability. Results Over 80% of surveyed patients looked for information about that disease online, 50% of whom were satisfied with the quality of information obtained. Our Google Trends analysis showed that term hemorrhoids has overwhelming prevalence in comparison to remaining terms. Analysis of top 10 Google search results showed that 7 in 10 organic links lead to websites with professional information about hemorrhoids. Conclusions Patients use the Internet as a source of knowledge about hemorrhoids and find it satisfactory. Moreover, our research indicates that this information is reliable.
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