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ERIC Number: ED415478
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 33
Abstractor: N/A
The Asymmetrical Quality of Psychological Internet Resources for Addressing Common versus Rare Problems.
Doran, Matt; Simonin, Danielle; Morse, Laura; Smith, Allyson; Maloney, Colleen; Wright, Cara; Underwood, Michelle; Hoppel, Andrea; O'Donnell, Shannon; Chambliss, Catherine
The Internet provides a new means of obtaining psychological health care, but Internet site quality varies widely. To help in the search for reliable information in cyberspace, a ratings scale, which assesses six dimensions of site quality (accuracy, practicality, normalization, sense of belonging, referral, and feedback mechanisms) is offered here. Three hundred sixty-five web sites were evaluated on the 6 dimensions over an 11-week period on a 5-point scale. Descriptive information about the nature of the sources is supplied, allowing for comparisons of the relative quality of the available sites across the different content domains: anxiety disorders, parenting problems, eating disorders, and chemical dependency. Site ratings indicate that the availability of quality resources is associated with the prevalence of the problems being targeted. Common phenomena, such as parenting problems and chemical dependency, attract greater interest and resources for site development than do rarer conditions. Eating disorders are covered in a large number of high-quality sites, which may be attributable to the perception that this group of consumers is relatively affluent and well educated. Only 65% of sites could be re-accessed, indicating that marginal sites become abandoned, go out of business, or close for other reasons. Site surveys show that anxiety disorders sites feature subtle advertising of particular products, as do the chemical dependency sites. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A