Youn Ashley Kim
Nova Southeastern University
Family Nurse Practitioners and Web-Based Healthcare Education: Smoking Cessation A wide range of web-based healthcare education is freely available and its effectiveness in the dissemination of health knowledge is now recognized worldwide (Cambil-Martín, Flynn, Villaverde-Gutiérrez, 2011). Recently, a large amount of internet-based health education, so called E-health, has been introduced to the public. Both patients and heath care providers, such as family nurse practitioners (FNPs), have faced challenges distinguishing reliable sites from commercially designed sites. However, when a reliable E-health source is indeed used by FNPs, patients and their family members, patient care outcomes naturally improve due to increased knowledge of patient illnesses and enhanced participation from patients in their disease management (Keselman, Logan, Smith, Leroy, & Zeng-Treitler, 2008). In this article, to promote the utilization of reputable internet healthcare sites in FNP practices, reviewing the requirements for trustworthy E-health, identifying the three most respected smoking cessation web sites, establishing the sources of reliable educational tools, and preparing for successful Personal Health Records (PHRs) utilization are discussed.
Requirements for a Reputable Healthcare Web Site A reputable healthcare web site provides up-to-date, objective, complete and accurate healthcare information delivered by sources of authority (National Network of Libraries of Medicine, 2013). The criteria for evaluating information from E-health are credibility, authority, content, disclosure, links, design, interactivity, caveats and currency (Benedetti, 2013; Consumer and Patient Health Information Section, 2013). Credibility and authority of the information are easily evaluated by identifying the sponsor and the publisher of the site. Content can be appraised by examining the dependability of the sources of the material presented. A reputable E-health also contains the disclosure of a mission statement, links for further information on a given topic, logically organized and accessible web site design, as well as interactivity including feedback from users on usability. The final criteria for assessing web sites are caveats and currency (Norwood, 2013). Caveats encompass detailed clarification on the sites, such as the evidence from which conclusions were based, the existence of footnotes, bibliographies, or references, as well as the sponsor’s motives or biases. Lastly, currency refers to dates of publication and how often the information is updated.
Smoking Cessation Education Websites E-health has great potential to assist millions of smokers who are willing to quit smoking and lower health care costs in America (Bock, Graham, Whiteley, & Stoddard, 2008). Today, even after ceaseless efforts from public health to reduce smoking related morbidity and mortality, smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death in the United States (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Smoking results in 443,000 deaths and $96 billion in health care expenditure annually. Many studies have shown the effectiveness of web-based smoking cessation interventions (Shahab, & Mcewen, 2009; Civljak, Sheikh, Stead, & Car, 2010). Among all of the web sites that promote smoking cessation, Smokefree.gov, Freedom From Smoking Online (FFS Online), and BecomeAnEX are the three most useful sites, and each of their programs can be employed in primary care settings of FNPs. Smokefree.gov offers various resources that can satisfy the needs of different population (Smokefree, 2013). The site’s home page enables visitors to click the categories that they most identify with, such as a smoker who is craving cigarettes, one who slipped, or one who wants to help someone