(HealthDay News) — The quality and completeness of Internet information about cesarean sections is poor, according to a Brazilian study published in the April issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

B.T.S. Fioretti, from the São Paulo Federal University in Brazil, and colleagues entered ‘cesarean delivery’ and 25 synonyms into the most popular search engines in Brazil, a country with very high rates of cesarean delivery. Assessments of 176 websites from the first three pages of hits were made using the DISCERN instrument and a content checklist.

The researchers found that 30% of the pages were of poor or very poor quality and 47% were of moderate quality. Low-scoring pages were due to questions related to reliability of the information. Top topics covered were as follows: indications for cesarean section (80% of websites); short-term maternal risks (80%); and potential benefits of cesarean section (56%), including maternal and doctor convenience. Perinatal risks were mentioned on less than half of the websites and less than one-third mentioned long-term maternal risks, such as uterine rupture (17%) or placenta praevia/accreta (12%) in future pregnancies.

“Pending improvement of these resources, obstetricians should warn pregnant women about these facts and encourage them to discuss what they have read on the Internet about cesarean section,” the authors write.

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