Donor information for living donor liver transplantation: Where can comprehensive information be found?



Recently published data show that a large number of candidates for living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) actively look for additional information on the Internet because today it represents the main source of information for many of them. However, little is known about the quality of the information on LDLT available on the Internet. Our aim was, therefore, to comprehensively evaluate the online information available for LDLT candidates with the expanded Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQIP) tool (0-36 items). One hundred Web sites on LDLT were initially found with the Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines, and we identified 32 Web sites that provided specific information for such candidates in English. Only 9 Web sites addressed >20 items and the scores tended to be higher for educational (P = 0.13) and scientific sites (P = 0.07) compared to hospital sites. The median number of items from the EQIP tool was only 16 (interquartile range = 13-20), and quantitative postoperative morbidity and mortality risk estimates were available on only 19% and 44% of the Web sites, respectively, despite the idea of major complications being mentioned on most Web sites. This analysis demonstrated several significant shortcomings in the quality of the information provided to potential donors for LDLT according to the EQIP instrument. We conclude that there is an urgent need to produce a Web site compliant with international standards for the quality of donor information. Liver Transpl, 2012. © 2012 AASLD.