The Informed Patient: An Analysis of Information Seeking Behavior and Surgical Outcomes Among Men With Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

The Internet has placed considerable information at the disposal of patients, but the sources for credible and accurate information may be difficult for a layperson to discern. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in elderly men can be treated with different surgical interventions.

The purpose of this research was to determine information seeking behaviors (ISB) of BPH patients before and after each type of surgery. All patients who underwent surgical intervention for BPH at a tertiary training center between January 2007 and January 2013 were included in this study. A comprehensive questionnaire regarding their ISB was sent through a third-party survey center. The following areas were examined: (1) the patient's opinion regarding information sources of BPH and its treatment, (2) the extent of ISB for each patient and its relation to the type of surgical intervention he eventually underwent, and (3) the relationship between the extent of ISB and the patient's final satisfaction. The results indicated that the majority of patients felt that it is relatively easy to find information about BPH and its treatment. Most of the patient started with either general online search engines or used the hospital website. Patients who explored more sources of information ended up choosing a more specific and sophisticated procedure. Generally, patients used fewer sources postoperatively regardless of the procedure they underwent. There was no correlation between the extent of ISB and overall satisfaction (r = -0. 0719, p = . 1610) and regret (r = -0. 0436, p = . 3945).

American journal of men's health. 2015 Nov 26 [Epub ahead of print]

Haidar Abdul-Muhsin, Mark Tyson, Santanam Raghu, Mitchell Humphreys

Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, USA Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, USA. , Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA. , Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, USA.