Evaluating A Health Promotion Website In The Uk

2694 words - 11 pages

In England in 2009 smoking attributed to over 81,000 deaths in those over 35 years old, 18 per cent of all deaths in this age group (IC. NHS, 2011). Over sixty years ago the causal link between smoking and lung cancer was recognized (Doll, R. and Hill, A., 1950). Since that time smoking has been linked to numerous types of cancer (IARC, 2002) and other diseases (NHS Choices, 2009).

As a consequence the nurses' role in promoting smoking cessation is vital. Effectiveness in this role depends upon understanding the evidence in order to overcome any misunderstandings that patients may have. In the UK 27% of the internet using adults had used health-related websites (ONS., 2006).

Alarmingly, a large percentage of people do not check the source or date of the information used (Childs, S. 2007). The nurses' skill in evaluating a web-based information is therefore, essential. There is no scarcity in the number of websites promoting ways for people to give up smoking.

Here, the website 'Quit-Smoking-Stop' (2011) will be evaluated using a website evaluation model (University of California, 2011). Quit-Smoking-Stop contains 54 pages, with information and tips about quitting smoking and is aimed primarily at teenagers. Included are facts about the effects of smoking, smoking facts, cessation support, tips for quitting and resources. Contained are several easy to read tables and various images of cancerous growths. Several products are recommended on the site along with numerous advertisements.

The URL 'Quit-Smoking-Stop.com' server domain name decodes as a commercial website according to Lesley University (2011). Quit-smoking-stop is the named site, while the domain extension 'com' indicates a commercial. There is no two-letter country code (IANA, 2011), but on closer examination of the website, it is seen to be based in the UK). The fact that is a commercial site suggests a possible bias towards products or a sponsor.

We can see from the 'about' page of Quit-Smoking-Stop that the author is Len Johnson. There is no organization, institution or agency claiming responsibility for the page. The author indeed states clearly that the site was founded, authored and edited by him. He claimed his intention was to publish facts about smoking and its effects and to provide tips on how to stop in a less condescending way.

However, in the side note of that page Johnson states his ambitions as, website design and development. This side note is designated a larger section possible denoting Johnson's priorities. He also produces more unrelated commercial websites, such as Skin Care Products UK (2011).

Johnson advocates the CTPM process, teaching it at academic institutions in the UK. Demonstrating to his students how to use all key elements of this process. CTPM stands for content, traffic, pre-sell and Monetize (Business Builders Website, 2011). In short, offer solutions to problems (in this case smoking) to get more visits to the website, offer...

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