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PUBHLTH1003 Communication for Health Sciences Management

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Questions:

Topic:-

Evaluating web-based health information resources.

Evaluate the effectiveness of each of the four web-based health information resources.

Answers:

Introduction:


Health care needs have transformed radically in the past few decades and hence it has become acutely important for the people to be adequately informed about the changing health needs of the public and the adequate health promotional and preventative behavior to address the mentioned changing needs. It has to be understood in this context that the level or stats of awareness in the public regarding the health promotional activities or behaviors or preventative activities are still in a very introductory phase. Along with that, many research studies have successfully discovered that the most contributing factor behind the most of health risks is the lack of knowledge and understanding in the public regarding the different health preventative and promotional behaviors and activities. On a more elaborative note, it has to be mentioned that there are many communicable and non-communicable diseases that can be both managed and prevented by adapting and religiously following a few simple and easy health preventative and promotional behaviors (Mayer et al. 2010).

Although, it must not be ignored as well that the level of health literacy is not symmetrical and the differential level of health literacy is also reflected in the status of health preventative and promotional behavior that the different socio-economic strata also varies accordingly. It has to be mentioned in this context that many heath information websites have attempted to bridge the gap in the literacy levels and enhance the knowledge and understanding of all the sector of society. However, it has to be mentioned as well that the websites communicating health information to the society need to be not only compact and efficient, but would also have to take into account that the information is provided in a concise and easy to understand manner (White et al. 2017). Although, catering to a wide range of socio-economic classes in order to effectively communicate information can be a very challenging. This assignment will attempt to discover the efficiency and effectiveness of 4 health information communicating websites, comparing and contrasting the effectiveness across different parameters.

Website one:

(Nhs.uk. 2017)

The very first website under review in this assignment is the https://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/healthy-eating.aspx, and this website delves into the food and diet related health information. The website campaign had been introduced in order to tackle the urgencies facilitated in the health care sector due to the frightening rise in obesity all over the world across all age groups. Change4life website had been a NHS initiative and the food facts website with the vision of a healthy society and a mission to encourage everyone to eat healthier and live longer. The main focus of the web page had been on the families with children that are either obese or are under high risk for obesity (Nhs.uk. 2017). It has to be understood in this context that the rate at the increase in the child and adolescent obesity rates have been of the charts for the inhabitants of UK; and the most important contributing factor behind the alarming increase in the flawed eating habits and the prevalence of junk and unhealthy food items in the dietary pattern for the population. It must be mentioned that this website is the social media marketing tool for the change4life campaign by the NHS, the website is merely a method for the public to incorporate healthy diet and maintain healthy weight of the children as well (Choices 2013).

There are different section in the website, namely food facts, recipes, activities and your child’s weight; and each of the section emphasizes on different aspect of healthy eating and obesity prevention. The food facts section provides the family, mostly the mothers about the important information regarding different components of daily food items and the benefits or risks they are associated with. Now, maintaining a healthy diet can be a very difficult phenomenon, food fact section of the website helps the mothers understand the definite nutritional value of specific food items and curate a diet list that will provide maximal nutritional benefits. And also the complex detrimental effects associated with particular food items so that the mothers can know what they are feeding their family. The next section recipe provides the mothers or the homemakers can implement new and healthy recipes for the family and along with that keep the diet as per healthy eating guidelines. Other sections include healthy weight and activities, which provides extremely beneficial information that guides the mothers to track healthy growth and developmental pace of the children (Gee 2017).

Now considering the different parameters of an efficient web-based resource, the design of the website is very attracting and complements the target audience that the website has chosen. Along with that it also needs to be mentioned that the website is very colorful with attractive graphics and the navigation part is also very easy and simple. It has to be mentioned in this context that for a website to be effective and efficient it is very important for the website to reach almost all of the socio-economic sectors and can be very easily operated, which the website has effectively achieved. The language and use of funny or animated pictures also helped the website gain the attention of more than 1 million mothers who have whole hearted and smartly adapted to the ‘all eight’ health plan for the children (Evans, Colls and Hoerschelmann 2011).

Summing up, it has to be mentioned that 30% of the children in the world are under the severe risk factor of becoming obese and there are a variety of different health risks that are coupled with the different types of age groups are under. This website had been successful in not just providing information but has been also effective in changing the outlook of the mothers towards health and healthy eating (Marketingsociety.com. 2017).

Website two:

(Talktofrank.com. 2017)

The next website under review is https://www.talktofrank.com, which focuses on providing support and information on a grave societal issue, substance abuse and addiction (Talktofrank.com. 2017). The substance abuse can be considered one of the most significant issues which has captured more than half of the adult population of the world and for the adolescents the percentage of substance addiction is even more alarming. According to a survey report on the drug abuse and addiction, close to 22 million adolescents and young adults have been discovered to be suffering with drug addiction and its aftermath of the livening conditions and lifestyle in general as well. However it has to be understood in this context that the escalating risk factors for more and more of the youth of this society is primarily due to the lack of awareness and the supportive help for the troubled youth going through the substance addiction issue. Hence, this website has been introduced as a digital marketing and communicating tool for the talk to frank campaign, which is targeted to all the young and adolescents suffering with varying degrees of addiction (BBC News. 2017).

The main display of the website is stark with the only colors being used in the background of the website being black and white, provides a stark look to the website and complements seriousness or graveness of the issue. The target group for the website is mainly the adolescents and the young adults who are struggling with drug addiction but their target audience is far more broad and encompasses drug addiction victims and survivors of all different age groups. There are many sections in this websites and a vast array of information provided that belongs to different domains of drug and its abuse. First and foremost, it has to be mentioned that the website provides everything about all the different variety of drugs and how they may harm humans. Along with that, there are different sections in the website that guides the visitor to different kinds of help depending on whether the visitor is a drug victim himself or is seeking help for a friend or family member. The navigation in the website is very smooth and very easy to understand and along with that it has to be mentioned as a well that the there are various options for providing support for the addiction victims. There are 7 different sections for getting help from the talk to frank team which will direct the visitor to the right places depending on the need. There are additional helpline hotlines for the help of the victims as well which provides instant help and support to the drug addiction victims (Dldocs.stir.ac.uk. 2017).

Now considering the success of the website, it has to be mentioned that the campaign began rising around the 2010, and in the years to follow the campaign in itself reached close 90% of the young adults’ attention regarding addiction and how to overcome it. The reliability of the website at the present is more than 80% and a massive population of the youth trusts the Frank franchise over anything when it comes to drugs related concerns. It has to be mentioned that talktofrank helpline numbers get more 3.5 million calls and more than 35 million website visits and these statistics are indicative of the success of the website. Hence, it can be said that this web- based resource serves a strong social responsibility of attracting the attention of the youth of the present generation and has attempted to not only help the drug addiction victims but has also attempted to change the point of view of the drug addicted youth towards drug addiction.

Website three:

(Getit.org.uk. 2017)

The next website under evaluative review in this assignment is the https://getit.org.uk/, the website serves a very unique albeit a very essential responsibility towards the society providing a free contraception to anyone who might need it (Getit.org.uk. 2017). It has to be understood in this context that the importance of family planning and population control is extreme and it is crucial for the youth to understand the importance of the different contraception techniques and its use to not just avoid the chances of unwanted pregnancy but also avoid a number of contamination risks associated with this phenomenon. In this sector, it has to be mentioned that there are many sexually transmitted communicable diseases that have contributed to a diverse array of public health priorities and have contributed to different episodes of huge life losses in different times. The HIV infection being the prime example of the phenomenon, according to a recent statistics, the severity of the threat that HIV infections are associated with still prevails in the world, with close to 40 million individuals have been reported to live with HIV infections by the end of the year 2016. Along with that, it has to be mentioned as well that even in the present day, almost 5000 new acquired HIV infections every day, and alarmingly enough, 1.2 million HIV infected victims are adolescents aged 15 years or less, which indicates at the graveness of the situation. It has to be understood in this age, sex education and the concept safe or protected intercourse has reached different sectors of the society undoubtedly. However, it must not escape notice that there are many sector of this society that still cannot afford to purchase the even the most common of protections. Hence, given the seriousness of the issue, getit.org is the platform that has taken a commendable initiative to provide the safest, easiest and most abundantly used protection, condoms, to the public absolutely free of cost (Getit.org.uk. 2017).

This website provides a free and confidential scheme of supplying condoms to the residents of all across Kent & Medway, and hence the residents will just have to contact and connect with the Getit.org and request for the most suitable scheme and avail the benefits of free protection services from the house of METRO sexual health department (Mayer et al. 2010).

The design of the webpage is very sleek and the navigation through the website is very easy and simplified. There are different sections that serve differential purpose of providing health information regarding this concept, the most notable effort from the website to provide adequate health information, is the safe intercourse education part where the visitors will find a curated compilation of all the different information that are required to gain the best understanding of safe intercourse. Along with that, it also needs to be mentioned that the target audience for this website is the youth of this society and hence the website also provides the link to various youth support services like Frank, child line, young minds, and many more. On an ending note, it can be mentioned that this website has taken a very unique yet very important responsibility to aware the youth of the society of safe intercourse and protection, to serve the purpose of both providing information and changing attitude (Nhs.uk. 2017).

Website four:  

(Samaritans.org. 2017)

The next website under review for this assignment is the https://www.samaritans.org/, which also addresses a very serious responsibility for the society, to address the issue of suicide. This website does not just provide information, but it has taken the responsibility to provide the support that a depressed suicidal individual needs the most, someone to hear them out (Thesamaritaninn.org. 2017). The mission and the vision of this website are to reduce the incidence rate of suicide and help mentally unfit individuals find their way back to life. The website provides emotional support to the suicidal or mentally ill individuals 24 hours of the day and also provides on- site assistance to at risk communities or groups. The design of the webpage is very simplistic and navigation is also very easy for any age group to utilize. There are separate sections that provides all kinds of support to the depressed youth or any age groups and their how can I help you section directs the visitor to the help that they need in matter of seconds (Samaritans 2017).

Considering the effectiveness of this web-based resource, it has to be mentioned in this context that the target audience of this website is by no means restricted to the youth. It can be stated that this is the only web- based resource, in the assignment that caters to a wide range of target audience that encompasses all age groups and socio-economic sectors of the society as well.  The website has a rich and diverse amalgamation of thousands of volunteers to provide the emotional assistance to the mentally ill and contributes their share to the society to reduce the incidence rate of suicide in the society. The success of the website is undoubtedly appreciable, accordimng to the statistical data from the last year, Samaritans.org team gets a call seeking out help every 6 seconds and they get the opportunity to stop three lives from getting lost in a matter of a minute (Howard 2017). These data points are indicative of the tremendous reach of this website and the success of the website is also extreme. The website had the mission to every suicide from happening by the means of providing any kind of support that they might need to continue living their lives. However, it has to be mentioned that the website is providing support and information however they have not contributed enough to change the point o view of the society towards suicide (Thensmc.com. 2017).

Conclusion:

On a concluding note, it can be mentioned that the web-based resources serve the purpose of making the public aware of the heath behaviors and preventative measures that can help the mass understand the meaning of different health adversities, the stigmatization associated with it and how it can be overcome. All four of the web-based resources were effective and systematic and along with that the reach of these web-based resources are commendable as well. However, it has to be mentioned that these websites along with communicating health related information attempted to change the attitude of the mass regarding most public health priorities as well.  And it can be hoped that these web-based resources in the coming years will be able to eradicate the challenges of health literacy across all socio-economic sectors and age groups.

References:

BBC News. (2017). Talking to Frank. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21242664 [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Choices, N.H.S., 2013. Change4Life activity planner-Health tools-NHS Choices.

Choices, N.H.S., 2013. Change4Life meal mixer and recipe finder.

Dldocs.stir.ac.uk. (2017).  [online] Available at: https://www.dldocs.stir.ac.uk/documents/frankreview0406.pdf [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Drug Testing | Hair Testing | Substance Misuse Testing | Alcohol Tests - Claritest. (2017). Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of Anti-Drugs Campaign: 'Talk to Frank'. [online] Available at: https://www.claritest.co.uk/reflections-on-the-10th-anniversary-of-anti-drugs-campaign-talk-to-frank/ [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Evans, B., Colls, R. and Hoerschelmann, K., 2011. ‘Change4Life for your kids’: Embodied collectives and public health pedagogy. Sport, Education and Society, 16(3), pp.323-341.

Gee, R., (2017). Change4Life introduces app to deal with childhood obesity. [online] Marketing Week. Available at: https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/01/03/change4life-app-childhood-obesity/ [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Getit.org.uk. (2017). Get It. [online] Available at: https://getit.org.uk/ [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Howard, E. (2017). Who are the Samaritans? Volunteers share their stories with us. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/christmas-charity-appeal-2014-blog/2014/dec/18/-sp-who-are-the-samaritans-volunteers-share-their-stories [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Marketingsociety.com. (2017). Recipe for success with Change4Life | Market Leader Articles - January 2011. [online] Available at: https://www.marketingsociety.com/the-library/recipe-success-change4life [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Mayer, D.K., Ratichek, S., Berhe, H., Stewart, S., McTavish, F., Gustafson, D. and Parsons, S.K., 2010. Development of a health-related website for parents of children receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplant: HSCT-CHESS. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 4(1), pp.67-73.

Nhs.uk. (2017). Food facts - Change4Life. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/healthy-eating.aspx [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Samaritans. (2017). Molly's story. [online] Available at: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/how-our-service-helps/personal-experiences-contacting-samaritans/mollys-story [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Samaritans. (2017). Samaritans Policy Campaigns. [online] Available at: https://www.samaritans.org/policy/campaigns [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Samaritans. (2017). Samaritans. [online] Available at: https://www.samaritans.org/ [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Samaritans.org. (2017).  Available at: https://www.samaritans.org/sites/default/files/kcfinder/files/Sam_annual_report_201415%281%29.pdf [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Talktofrank.com. (2017). FRANK. [online] Available at: https://www.talktofrank.com/ [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Thensmc.com. (2017). Change4Life | The NSMC. [online] Available at: https://www.thensmc.com/resources/showcase/change4life [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

Thesamaritaninn.org. (2017). Volunteer | The Samaritan Inn. [online] Available at: https://www.thesamaritaninn.org/volunteer/ [Accessed 23 Dec. 2017].

White, J., Hawkins, J., Madden, K., Grant, A., Er, V., Angel, L., Pickles, T., Kelson, M., Fletcher, A., Murphy, S. and Midgley, L., 2017. Adaptation of the ASSIST peer-led smoking intervention to deliver information from the Talk to FRANK drug education website (ASSIST+ FRANK): a pilot cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 390, p.S1.

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