Quality of Health Web Sites: Dimensions for a Broad Evaluation Methodology

Quality of Health Web Sites: Dimensions for a Broad Evaluation Methodology

Álvaro Rocha (Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Portugal) and Patrícia Leite Brandão (Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e Ave, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3990-4.ch048
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Abstract

The use of a methodology for the evaluation, comparison, and quality improvement of Health Web Sites is justified by its widespread adoption and visibility to Internet users. Due to the sensitiveness of their content and impact on users, health related sites should be evaluated. This chapter proposes three different dimensions for the development of quality evaluation methodologies of Health Web Sites: contents, services, and technical. The authors consider that these dimensions should be addressed transversally, providing an integrated and better overall evaluation.
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Health Web Sites

Web Site Definition

According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) a Web Site is a “set of connected Web pages, including a main page, located in the same net. Pages are accessed following a sequence, starting on a main page and ending on the wanted page” (Lavoie and Nielsen, 1999).

We can then define Web Site as electronic pages that contain connections, images and objects, with a code interpreted by a browser. Meaning, it is a set of contents and services remotely accessible through an HTTP communication protocol, composed by HTML static and/or dynamic pages and other multimedia elements. This is what makes a World Wide Web (WWW).

Health Web Site Definition

A Heath Web Site is an Internet location that allows the access to contents and services related to Health. Examples of this are education and health prevention, as well as booking management for health services and health acts payments.

One of the main questions from health and healthcare Websites concerns their services and contents quality guarantee (Lorence and Abraham, 2008).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Health: A resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.

Content: Substantive information or creative material of a Website.

Websites: Is depository of information destined for public or private use, usually residing in a remote server. When a computer terminal calls the Website (using the HTTP or HTTPS protocol) the server responds by sending the information requested back to the user.

Technical: The dimension considered for build, use and acces a Website.

Content: Substantive information or creative material of a Website.

Websites: Is depository of information destined for public or private use, usually residing in a remote server. When a computer terminal calls the Website (using the HTTP or HTTPS protocol) the server responds by sending the information requested back to the user.

Evaluation: Is the act of considering, judging and deciding on a Website.

Health: A resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.

Services: On-line services available in a Website.

Model: A representation of a Website as a tool for understanding its quality.

Services: On-line services available in a Website.

Model: A representation of a Website as a tool for understanding its quality.

Evaluation: Is the act of considering, judging and deciding on a Website.

Quality: Refers to the lack of defects of a Website.

Quality: Refers to the lack of defects of a Website.

Technical: The dimension considered for build, use and acces a Website.

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