This paper evaluates health information relative to Schizophrenia disorder found in the World Wide Web. According to Heilman et al. (2011), the top 200 most-visited medical articles in Wikipedia receive each more than 100,000 views per month and the top 500 each receiving greater than 60,000 views per month. (Heilman et al., 2011) While some articles posted online are trustworthy, the credibility of others remains questionable. Internet consumers are exposed to a sea of information that can either promote or endanger lives. Health related articles, unlike health information found in blogs and forums, feature good quality of information. We use Hebda & Czar criteria of evaluating information quality for online resources to criticize data pertaining to schizophrenia found in Wikipedia, National Institute of Mental Health and Healthy Place.
The World Wide Web becomes the fast channel for healthcare professionals, patients and the general public to retrieve information they need. It helps patients acquire knowledge in science, medicine, economy, social matters and other areas of life. According to Hebda & Czar (2013), almost 90% of people with Internet access have used it to search for health information at some point (Hebda & Czar, 2013). The internet consumer also interacts with others in the virtual world. Caregivers, patients and their family members use internet to understand current health conditions and its management. Healthcare data found in the World Wide Web are used to emphasize healthcare education, understanding diagnoses and prepare patients to discuss the treatment plan. Unfortunately, the accuracy, readability, depth, diversity, and presentation of the content vary from site to site (Hebdar & Czar, 2013). And the control over the information posted is even impossible. One concern arises: Are all healthcare related data found online trustworthy? We will evaluate webpages relative the schizophrenia disorder in Wikipedia, National Institute in Mental health (NIMH) website and Healthy Place, a virtual community group support.
Name: Wikipedia – Schizophrenia
A wiki, a web 2.0 application, is defined as site created with application that allows anyone to collaboratively write or edit documents without any special technical knowledge. (Hebda & Czar, 2013). Wikipedia is a trademark of Wikimedia foundation, a non-profit charitable organization with the goal of having everyone to freely share knowledge. The freedom of editing content renders this page less reliable for academic/ professional research. The page on schizophrenia, unlike other contents, the freedom to edit is restricted. It is semi-protected because it is a “featured article.” Featured articles contain a bronze star at the top right. This means, the posted information has been reviewed by Wikipedia’s editor for accuracy, completeness and deemed well –researched, consistent in citations, neutral, well-written, stable, well- structured. Any change/ modification underwent the same process prior being made public. The page on schizophrenia has various links that offers to the readers the ability to verify the credentials of the editors, sources that are mostly academic publications.
Wikipedia gives more elaborate information by providing data related to genetics , disorder mechanism at the psychological & neurological level in order to give the public understandable health information. This web page meets the criteria of completeness as evidence by providing the symptoms of schizophrenia, its diagnosis, causes, mechanism, and management of the disease, prognosis, and research directions. For instance, the medications found under disease management are presented in a form of hyperlink. By clicking on it, the consumer accesses the information related to the medication use, dosage,