Podium Session

Poster, Podium & Video Sessions

PD17-06: Direct to Consumer Advertising for Robotic Assisted Sacrocolpopexy: Are Patients Getting the Right Information?

Saturday, May 13
7:50 AM - 8:00 AM
Location: BCEC: Room 161

Presentation Authors: Brent Medoff*, Scranton, PA, Juzar Jamnagerwalla, Los Angeles, CA, Dominique Dana Marie Thomas, Bilal Chughtai, New York City, NY, Jennifer T. Anger, Los Angeles, CA

Introduction: Direct to consumer advertising targeting the patient has an increasingly pervasive effect on patient care. To date, however, we have little information addressing how this information is portrayed to patients on consumer websites. To analyze whether centers made unsubstantiated claims regarding outcomes of sacrocolpopexy, we examined whether web sites provided clinical data or referenced peer-reviewed publications as part of their advertising

Methods: We compiled an electronic database for the clinical direct-to-consumer advantages and/or disadvantages of robotic sacrocolpopexy using the first three Google pages with the search term "robotic sacrocolpopexy". Advertising was then classified based on presentation of benefits/ advantages only, risks only, and both risks and benefits to determine the balance of information provided to consumers. We further classified the information based on whether or not peer-reviewed references were present on the webpages.

Results: A total of 25 of 29 websites were found to have information on advantages/disadvantages of sacrocolopexy. 4 were excluded because they had no discussion of advantages/disadvantages. Of the 25, 8 were research articles all containing references, 0 were insurance websites, 14 were hospital specific websites, 13 of which had no supporting references. Of the hospital websites, 5 were academic medical centers, 4 of which had no references. 3 were non-academic medical centers containing no references, and 6 were individual practices, all of which had no references. 7 were gynecology practices, all with no references, 6 were urology practices, 5 of which had no references. The most common advantages presented for the robotic approach included shorter hospital stays/recovery time (15) and decreased blood loss (13), with the most common disadvantage being high cost (5, see Table1).

Conclusions: Direct to consumer advertising in robotic sacrocolpopexy had many websites reporting benefits without describing risks or referencing the material on the websites. We need to ensure our advertising messages to consumers offer a balanced view of surgical interventions in accordance with the American Medical Association Code of Ethics Opinion on Advertising and Publicity.

Source Of Funding: None

Brent Medoff

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

My name is Brent Medoff and I am an upcoming 4th year medical student at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in the Class of 2018. I will be applying Urology for residency this year. My research interests include advertising in medicine and internet /social media use in urology and medicine.

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