ObjectivesHealth-related websites are an important source of information for the public. Increasing public awareness of overdiagnosis and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in breast cancer screening may facilitate more informed decision-making. This study assessed the extent to which such information was included on prominent health websites oriented towards the general public, and evaluated how it was explained.DesignCross-sectional study.SettingWebsites identified through Google searches in England (United Kingdom) and New South Wales (Australia) for "breast cancer screening" and further websites included based on our prior knowledge of relevant organisations.Main OutcomesContent analysis was used to determine whether information on overdiagnosis or DCIS existed on each site, how the concepts were described, and what statistics were used to quantify overdiagnosis.ResultsAfter exclusions, ten UK websites and eight Australian websites were considered relevant and evaluated. They originated from charities, health service providers, government agencies, and an independent health organisation. Most contained some information on overdiagnosis (and/or DCIS). Descriptive information was similar across websites. Among UK websites, statistical information was often based on estimates from the Independent UK Panel on Breast Cancer Screening; the most commonly provided statistic was the ratio of breast cancer deaths prevented to overdiagnosed cases (1:3). A range of other statistics was included, such as the yearly number of overdiagnosed cases and the proportion of women screened who would be overdiagnosed. Information on DCIS and statistical information was less common on the Australian websites.ConclusionsOnline information about overdiagnosis has become more widely available in 2015-16 compared with the limited accessibility indicated by older research. However, there may be scope to offer more information on DCIS and overdiagnosis statistics on Australian websites. Moreover, the variability in how estimates are presented across UK websites may be confusing for the general public.

Information on 'Overdiagnosis' in Breast Cancer Screening on Prominent United Kingdom- and Australia-Oriented Health Websites

Renzi, Cristina
Ultimo
2016-01-01

Abstract

ObjectivesHealth-related websites are an important source of information for the public. Increasing public awareness of overdiagnosis and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in breast cancer screening may facilitate more informed decision-making. This study assessed the extent to which such information was included on prominent health websites oriented towards the general public, and evaluated how it was explained.DesignCross-sectional study.SettingWebsites identified through Google searches in England (United Kingdom) and New South Wales (Australia) for "breast cancer screening" and further websites included based on our prior knowledge of relevant organisations.Main OutcomesContent analysis was used to determine whether information on overdiagnosis or DCIS existed on each site, how the concepts were described, and what statistics were used to quantify overdiagnosis.ResultsAfter exclusions, ten UK websites and eight Australian websites were considered relevant and evaluated. They originated from charities, health service providers, government agencies, and an independent health organisation. Most contained some information on overdiagnosis (and/or DCIS). Descriptive information was similar across websites. Among UK websites, statistical information was often based on estimates from the Independent UK Panel on Breast Cancer Screening; the most commonly provided statistic was the ratio of breast cancer deaths prevented to overdiagnosed cases (1:3). A range of other statistics was included, such as the yearly number of overdiagnosed cases and the proportion of women screened who would be overdiagnosed. Information on DCIS and statistical information was less common on the Australian websites.ConclusionsOnline information about overdiagnosis has become more widely available in 2015-16 compared with the limited accessibility indicated by older research. However, there may be scope to offer more information on DCIS and overdiagnosis statistics on Australian websites. Moreover, the variability in how estimates are presented across UK websites may be confusing for the general public.
Australia
Breast Neoplasms
Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating
Female
Humans
United Kingdom
Internet
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/133976
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