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Quality Assessment of Persian Mental Disorders Websites Using the Webmedqual Scale

Leila Shahrzadi, Shahin Mojiri, Sima Janatian, Behjat Taheri, Hasan Ashrafi-rizi, Zeinab Shahrzadi, Razieh Zahedi.


Introduction: Nowadays, anyone with any level of Internet knowledge can act as producer and distributor of information. It differs from most traditional media of information transmission, lack of information control and lack of quality management to contents. This leads to quality of health information on the internet is doubtful. The object of this study is guidance patients to select valid mental disorders and determine the quality of Persian mental disorders websites. Methods: The sample of this study comprised 29 Persian mental disorders websites that were chosen by searching the Google, Yahoo and AltaVista search engines for the Persian equivalents of the three concepts “depression,” “anxiety,” and “obsession”. website was created by individuals or organizations. Data collection was performed with the WebMedQual checklist. Websites was assessed based on indicators as content, authority of source, design, accessibility and availability, links, user support, and confidentiality and privacy (Maximum score for any website was 83, mean score 41.5 and minimum score was 0). Collected data analyzed by one sample T- test in SPSS 20. Findings presented by Mean score and optimal score. Results: Based on the WebMedQual scale the mean score of Persian mental disorders websites in sex constructs including “content” (7.02±2.10), “authority of source” (4.71±1.96),“accessibility and availability” (2.19±0.47), “links” (1.45±0.97), “user support” (4.28±1.33), and“confidentiality and privacy” (2.81±2.81) are poor and below average, but the score for the “design” (9.17± 1.59) is above average. The best website of mental disorders was that of the “IranianPsychological Association”. Conclusions: According to the results, only one website obtained the average score, so the quality of Persian mental disorders websites is low. Therefore, it is essential for users to criticize websites’ content and not trust them before evaluating them. It is better to use the ranked list websites or search on the internet by help information experts.

Key words: Quality assessment, mental disorders websites, Health information, WebMedQual scale

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