Article Text


Electronic patient records and use of IT
P107 Cyberspace and sexual health: an objective review of website quality and navigability
  1. J Sutherby,
  2. A S Menon-Johansson
  1. Department of Sexual Health, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK


Background Sexual health providers/organisations are increasingly using the web as a powerful tool to market their services and educate people.

Objective This study explored the quality of sexual health websites in the UK in order to help facilitate learning and development.

Methods 7 websites were selected to represent a range of providers (eg, NHS vs charitable organisations) and target audience (youth vs adult). The following areas were rigorously analysed: (1) Common content (2) Clarity (quality of flow/ease of navigation) (3) Innovative features and (4) Number of clicks to important information (see abstract 107 table 1).

Abstract P107 Table 1

Number of clicks required to reach information according to website

Results Common content covered by the websites were Clinic Information, Contraception, Pregnancy, STIs, HIV, Sex/Relationships, Sexual assault and The Law. Interestingly, sites with more innovative features had less clarity, and vice versa. Examples of innovative features include image galleries/videos/films, newsfeeds, voting tools, online feedback forms, contraception tools, clinic finders, online booking and risk assessment tools.

Discussion/Conclusions Populating the website with more innovative features appears to reduce clarity. Are they mutually exclusive? To answer that question, user feedback should be sought and web site analytics used to determine if features have real utility or are just superfluous.

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