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What Are Women Being Exposed to?: A Review of the Quality, Content and Ownership of Websites on Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Women's Health Issues
Issue number2
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)183-189
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date31/12/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.