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Assessing the accuracy, quality, and readability of online educational health information related to the surgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia

  • David Bouhadana,
  • David-Dan Nguyen,
  • Brendan Raizenne,
  • Sai Vangala,
  • Iman Sadri,
  • Bilal Chughtai,
  • Dean Elterman,
  • Kevin Zorn,
  • Naeem Bhojani

Introduction and objective

Given the many treatments available for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), patients may seek to learn more about these treatments with the help of online resources in order to make a decision that best meets their personal preferences. Therefore, it is important that such resources are evaluated for their accuracy, quality, and readability to ensure that patients can make use of the provided information.


8 treatment modalities including transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), GreenLight photovaporization, enucleation, Rezum, Urolift, Aquablation, open simple prostatectomy, and robotic simple prostatectomy (RSP) were searched to retrieve the first 5 relevant websites related to each treatment. The retrieved websites were then assessed for their accuracy, quality, and readability by 5 independent reviewers using validated tools or methods employed in similar studies.


On average, the websites were 97.94% accurate, of good quality with a brief DISCERN score of 19.50, and of poor readability with a grade level of 11.24. The median quality score was statistically different across the 8 treatment modalities (p=0.015); however, no pairwise comparisons within the treatment groups were found to be statistically significant. The median readability grade level was statistically different across the 8 treatment modalities (p=0.009). Websites that described TURP were significantly easier to read than those related to RSP (p=0.011). Detailed accuracy, quality, and readability scores for each treatment can be found in Table 1.


The majority of websites retrieved were found to be of high accuracy, good quality and poor readability. Additionally, it was found that none of the retrieved websites included a description of all treatment modalities included in this study. Given these findings, the authors recommend the development of centralized resources such as patient decision aids that include all guideline-approved treatment modalities and provide accurate, readable, and high-quality information related to the surgical treatment of BPH.

Source of Funding


Tags: AUA21