To examine the quality of information concerning depression available on the internet, identify factors associated with ‘good’ quality, and develop a simple-to-use instrument for assessing websites on depression. The Depression-Website Content Checklist was developed and compared with a previously validated, yet too complex, scale. Websites were assessed using both instruments.
Good quality information is more likely to be found on websites provided by governmental, professional and charitable organisations. The differences we observed in the median scores for these websites using the Depression-Website Content Checklist are significant at the 0.05 level (C tot; Mann–Whitney, U=24.00; P=0.013). The Depression-Website Content Checklist is a valid and reliable user-friendly tool.
Patients can be directed towards better quality information by diverting them to public and non-sponsored websites. Clinicians can use the Depression-Website Content Checklist to determine website quality.
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