|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Consumerism Internet Mental health Depression|
The Consumer Health Information Website that will be analyzed is The National Institute of Mental Health that analyzes the prevalence of depression among adults and adolescents. The website can be accessed from this link https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml#part_155033. The number of young people diagnosed with depression is growing at an alarming rate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the main cause of disease and disability among adolescents of both sexes aged between 10 and 19 years (Avenevoli, Swendsen, He, Burstein, & Merikangas, 2015). The emotional life of the teenager can go up and down, with empty passages that may last, and can be accompanied by great sadness (Motjabai, Olfson, & Han, 2016). Symptoms of depression can appear at any stage of adolescence and include sleep or appetite disorders and weight changes, feelings of anguish, hopelessness, sadness and low self-esteem (Beiter, Nash, McCrady, Rhoades, Linscomb, Clarahan, & Sammut, 2015). Other signs are the desire to be alone, problems of concentration or memory, suicidal thoughts and medical problems without apparent cause.
The website has a credible and professional appearance. The website is an extension of the organization, and the designer understood the importance of having a clean and professional design where corporate colors are reflected, taking care not to use strong colors as they can cause fatigue and discomfort to the users. The website also has high usability. The fundamental objective of usability in the design of a website is that visitors can find the most relevant information easily and intuitively. Moreover, the website has been designed in such a way that users can use and access it with minimum stress and maximum efficiency (Rochitte & Mesquita, 2018). The different levels of depression options are indicated visually with fonts, bold, colors or drop-down menus. The texts of each option are clear and concise. Since the website has many sections all relating to depressions, there are two or three menu levels, and an easy path to intuit has been created. The loading time of the website is also high. Internet users today are very demanding if a web does not load in a short duration of time, the user will simply close it and continue with the next one. That is why it is worthless to own a website with the excellent design if visitors are not going to be able to visualize it because of how slow it is loading. The NIMH website's loading time is high.
The author of the article uses easy language that can be understood easily. Given that the information is directed to a quite varied public, the language that is used is adapted to this heterogeneity. Normally, scientific or technological research (which is the basis for dissemination articles), employs a very complex specialized language with many technicalities, however, the website avoids these technical terms and uses a more familiar language. The information presented on the website has a scientific basis and it is based on scientific research from reliable sources. For an investigation to be considered reliable it must have, at least, these two characteristics: first, the authors of the research must have academic credentials related to the subject they are dealing with (university studies, being researchers associated with laboratories or research centers, in other aspects) (Rochitte & Mesquita, 2018). Secondly, they must include experiments through which the hypothesis corresponding to the problem to be solved is verified. The information presented on the selected website has both these characteristics.
The website has clearly defined sources. Being based on scientific research, it is essential that the dissemination articles make clear reference to the sources from which the information was obtained. The references in the NIMH website are visibly defined in the structure of the article, and cited correctly; so readers can go to them if they wish to deepen on the subject. As mentioned above, the sources used as the basis for a dissemination article must have a scientific basis, be true and reliable. The content of a dissemination article is current and has clear relevance to society since depression is on the rise in society and almost all countries in the world. Many times more general subjects are treated, like aspects of scientific theories or mathematical and technological concepts, with the intention of increasing the scientific and technological culture of the readers; but it is advisable that the main argument of the dissemination articles be current, and be of obvious importance in the context of the audience (Rochitte & Mesquita, 2018). New findings in medical research, environmental issues or technological innovations are utilized and they make the website more attractive and current, given that all these fields, in one way or another, can be part of the readers' context.
In some cases, it is not enough to use a familiar and close language in articles. The NIMH website uses graphs and diagrams to show the growing prevalence of depression among adolescents in the USA and in the world as well. Depending on the topic, it is likely that it is necessary to support the exposure of the information with images, graphics, diagrams or tables, illustrating the argument of the article more clearly and helping the reader to capture the content in a better way. Besides the use of images, the article has other elements that contribute to making it visually striking, and thus be able to capture the attention of the reader. Large and colorful titles are used, and resources such as underlined fonts, highlighted or italics, which serve to emphasize a phrase are used as well. In some cases, it is possible to frame certain important information in colored boxes or, if it is a digital medium, it is even possible to add videos, infographics or interactive content, this is what has been done in the current NIMH website.
Most importantly, the quality of the content is excellent. The content is one of the most important axes of any website, because thanks to the content, an organization can increase the number and quality of visits to the website. The website has a clear, readable, fresh and informative content. The website also has a great optimization. Optimization applies to the entire website and individual pages. Optimization means improving the site's compatibility with search engines. To achieve this, it is necessary that both the code, the structure, and the content are more effective in order to maximize the visibility of keywords, this is what has been done in the NIMH website. The website also has interaction functions. When the function of a page is the interaction with the user, it must necessarily be a dynamic page (Rochitte & Mesquita, 2018). All the public pages of a site allow a minimum interaction since at least they can be shared through social networks. This minimal interaction of NIMH is encouraged from the entire site through "share" buttons.
The website was last updated in February 2019 showing that the information is current. It has been financed by the National Institute of Mental Health Information Resource Center. The website also explicitly explains that it does not endorse any products or commercial services and it would be wrong to use their publication for any endorsement or advertisement purposes. It is also explicitly explained that the website does not provide any medical referrals to any specific treatments and it would be wrong for anyone to interpret the message that some sought of recommendations or referrals has been provided. The website also provides contact information in case one has any questions or inquiries. In overall, the website is highly informative, provides factual information and data sources, is up to date, is not biased, and there are links to all the sources used. The author is subjective and does not take any social or political issue. The connects are clear and the author's point of view is not only objective but also unbiased. The site provides consumer/patient education and the education presented is adequate. One does not have to go somewhere else to find answers about the topic. The source is neither too technical or advanced, it is right and the purpose of the site is clearly stated. The site matches its purposed and it is intended to educate, not to sell.
Avenevoli, S., Swendsen, J., He, J. P., Burstein, M., & Merikangas, K. R. (2015). Major depression in the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement: prevalence, correlates, and treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(1), 37-44.
Beiter, R., Nash, R., McCrady, M., Rhoades, D., Linscomb, M., Clarahan, M., & Sammut, S. (2015). The prevalence and correlates of depression, anxiety, and stress in a sample of college students. Journal of affective disorders, 173, 90-96.
Mojtabai, R., Olfson, M., & Han, B. (2016). National trends in the prevalence and treatment of depression in adolescents and young adults. Pediatrics, 138(6), e20161878.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2019). Major Depression. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml#part_155033 on 5th April 2019.
Rochitte, C. E., & Mesquita, C. T. (2018). What are the Characteristics of an Excellent Review of Scientific Articles? Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia, 110(2), 106-108.
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