Assessing the quality of psychotherapy self-evaluation information on the web

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The World Wide Web now offers a vast and growing number of resources related to mental health that patients may utilize to manage their care. For those patients who are able to locate quality mental health information using the Web, this can be an empowering experience. Given the tremendous potential of Web-based mental health resources for patient self-care, how good is the quality, and how easy are they to access? The purpose of this study is to assess the quality of information that a patient seeking information on psychotherapy might typically find on the Web. It utilizes three popular search engines (Alta Vista, Google, and Excite) to research the term "psychotherapy." For each search, the first 30 Web sites are evaluated that contain information that a person might use in deciding whether to undergo therapy. The sites are examined to see if they meet basic standards similar to those used for disseminating information in professional peer-reviewed journals. These include authorship and credentials, currency of information, the nature of evidence cited in support of therapeutic claims, and references. The results of these findings will be reported, along with a discussion of their implications for information professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-375
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings - National Online Meeting
StatePublished - 2001
Event22nd National Online Meeting (NATIONAL ONLINE 2001) - New York, NY, United States
Duration: May 15 2001May 17 2001


  • Assessment
  • Psychotherapy
  • Quality
  • Self-evaluation information
  • World Wide Web


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