Sites for Depression on the Web: a comparison of consumer, professional and commercial sites




Christensen, Helen
Griffiths, Kathleen
Medway, Jo

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Public Health Association of Australia


Objective: To provide information on the range of treatments for depression provided by commercial, professional and consumer web sites. Methods: An audit of the 21 most popular depression sites on the world wide web undertaken from March 1999 to July 1999, in Canberra, ACT. Treatment types and categories of treatment were compared among commercial, professional and consumer web sites. Results: A total of 53 treatments or treatment types were mentioned. The number of treatments mentioned per site ranged from 2 to 38. Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy were noted by almost all sites. Consumer sites mentioned psychological therapies less frequently but did not mention dietary supplements or complementary treatments more frequently. Conclusions and implications: Consumer web sites provide a point of comparison to those from commercial or professional sources. They provide a voice to inform psychiatrists ang GPs about preferred treatments and side effects and to alert researchers to areas that need formal investigation.



Keywords: amfebutamone; antidepressant agent; estrogen; monoamine oxidase A inhibitor; monoamine oxidase inhibitor; noradrenalin uptake inhibitor; serotonin 2 antagonist; serotonin uptake inhibitor; tetracyclic antidepressant agent; trazodone; tricyclic antidepress



Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health


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