Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 303–309 | Cite as

A systematic review of the quality of information on the treatment of anxiety disorders on the internet

Article

Abstract

A vast amount of information describing health interventions is available on the Internet. This paper describes the systematic retrieval and quality assessment of websites containing information on the treatment of anxiety disorders. Separate searches were conducted for information on generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobia. The Google, Yahoo, and MSN search engines yielded 540 results, 110 of which were eligible for inclusion. Sixty-seven unique websites were identified. The DISCERN scale was used to evaluate quality of content. The authors also compared the websites in terms of popularity, readability, and a range of technical criteria. Websites were generally of poor to moderate quality. Higher-quality scores were obtained for websites whose authors attributed their sources and provided a clear statement of the purpose of the website. The paper closes by considering limitations of the review and possible future research avenues.

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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Mental HealthUniversity of Cape Town, Groote Schuur HospitalObservatorySouth Africa

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