Surveys have found ads that many Australian orthopedists do not comply with the guidelines

According to a study led by the University of New South Wales, “most” of online advertising for orthopedists was non-compliant, and “only a quarter” of surgeons were compliant with the guidelines.

“Compliance violation [in our study] Often characterized by unconfirmed claims of reputation and skills, or misleading expressions of treatment benefits. ” The author wrote..

“As patients become more and more dependent on online health information, surgeons can find that misleading information on their website can seriously influence informed patient decisions. It is important to recognize. “

Orthopedic surgeons are clinicians who specialize in both surgical and non-surgical treatment of bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons, including knee and hip implants and treatments.

A research team led by Dr. Samadhi of the University of New South Wales Two groups of orthopedists were sampled For their online advertising compliance.

Eighty-one publicly available clinicians are randomly selected from the Australian Orthopedic Association (AOA) database, and 59 from the top Google search results by searching for professionals by name in major Australian cities. Surgeon was found.

The study found that the majority of surgeons in both groups were non-compliant with the Australian Health Professionals Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) and the AOA guidelines as a whole.

In addition, the surgeons found in the top search results were more likely to be out of compliance than AOA members.

In total, the team found that over 60% of AOA samples were “non-compliant” with at least one AHPRA or AOA guideline. For the clinicians found on Google, 81% did not comply with the AHPRA guidelines and 78% did not comply with the AOA guidelines.

Of concern, the team has less than a quarter of the surgeons in the AOA sample group (20 out of 81) and only 7 of the 59 surgeons in the top Google search results are AHRA for online advertising. We have found that it complies with both AOA and AOA guidelines. ..

The main areas of non-compliance in online media were the use of deceptive, misleading, or “good performance” claims. It accounts for the majority of non-compliance in both groups.

Non-compliance with providing testimony was also important in both groups, with more than half of the Google samples using testimony in marketing.

This was a concern Previous study in the United States “Inaccurate and misleading information in online orthopedic advertising can have negative consequences for patients,” he discovered.

In addition, the team noted that the majority of surgeons who did not comply with commercial product references (51% of non-compliance) also failed to disclose their commercial relationships (46% of non-compliance).

Because many surgeons have financial ties to the industry, failure to disclose commerce may result in a preference for a particular product and “potentially compromise patient care.”

This is the advantage of robotic surgery over standard surgery, which 14% of AOA members and 29% of Google sample surgeons make these claims, even though AOA specifically advises members not to do so. It was especially important for clinicians making misleading claims about sex.

“Patient demand for a particular treatment can lead to improper use of medical resources and the adoption of new technologies that are still uncertain about their effectiveness,” the team wrote.

The author also expressed concern about the prevalence of non-compliance in the top Google search groups as Internet consumption of health information. It becomes widespread in patients.

“Patients are most likely to visit web pages linked to the top 10 search results,” the team said.

“Our findings suggest that surgeons need to pay more attention to the information they publish online, and that AHPRA and AOA need to take further steps to strengthen their compliance with advertising guidelines. increase.”

Marina Chan


Marina Chan is based in Melbourne and focuses on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]