QUALITY OF WEB-BASED INFORMATION ON DEPRESSION


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Abstract

Background:Although some studies have already been done on the quality of websites on depression, they have mainly focused on content quality, and were mostly carried out about a decade ago. The main aim of this work was thus to examine the quality of current websites on depression through the use of several indicators.Methods:Three keywords on depression were entered into a popular search engine. Websites were evaluated on accountability, interactivity, esthetics, readability, and content quality. Moreover, the presence of the “Health on the Net” (HON) quality label and the website's affiliation were checked, and the Brief DISCERN was used as a potential content quality indicator for general consumers.Results:A total of 45 websites were analyzed. The content quality of the depression-related websites was good. Websites with the HON label had significantly higher accountability, content quality, and Brief DISCERN scores. Moreover, websites with a high score on the Brief DISCERN scored significantly higher for accountability and content quality. Finally, the content quality of websites was significantly and positively correlated with the Brief DISCERN score, the presence of the HON label, and affiliation of the websites.Conclusion:The overall quality of websites on depression seems to be rather good.

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