evaluate 2 professional and/or consumer health websites. According to recent studies, due to its accessibility and “easiness” patients are using the Internet as the after physicians, (HON, 2014).  In light of this, it is important that nurses are able to identify reliable, accurate online sources for health teaching their clients or when referring clients to resources for further information. The Health on the Net (HON) Foundation has developed a code of conduct to standardize the reliability of health information. The HON code defines a set of eight (8) principles to maintain basic ethical standards. These include: The definitions of these terms can be found in the course shell to apply to the assignment. Students are required to choose a and then research it using two (2) websites of their choice. Choose a topic that interests you from the following; Post Partum Depression, Thyroid Cancer, Meningitis, Depression, Congestive Heart Failure, Asthma, Diabetes This assignment is worth 20% of the final course grade. Please review the rubric prior to beginning this assignment, as it will be graded according to this rubric.

Introduction

With the increasing accessibility and convenience of the internet, patients are turning to online sources for health information. However, the reliability and accuracy of these websites vary greatly. Therefore, it is important for healthcare professionals, particularly nurses, to be able to identify and evaluate professional and consumer health websites to ensure the delivery of reliable information to clients. In this assignment, two health websites related to the topic of Thyroid Cancer will be evaluated using the principles outlined in the Health on the Net (HON) code of conduct.

Website 1: American Thyroid Association (ATA)

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is a professional organization dedicated to promoting research, education, and clinical practice in the field of thyroid disorders. Their website, www.thyroid.org, provides comprehensive information on various aspects of thyroid health, including Thyroid Cancer. The website is well-designed and visually appealing, making it easy to navigate and find relevant information.

Principle 1: Authority

The ATA website clearly identifies its authority as a reputable professional organization in the field of thyroid disorders. The “About Us” section provides information on the organization’s mission, vision, and leadership. The website also includes references to scientific publications and guidelines developed by the ATA, further establishing its credibility.

Principle 2: Complementarity

The ATA website aims to complement healthcare professionals’ knowledge by providing evidence-based information on Thyroid Cancer. The information is presented in a clear and understandable manner, making it accessible to both healthcare professionals and consumers. The website includes sections on diagnosis, treatment options, and support resources, catering to the needs of different audiences.

Principle 3: Privacy

The ATA website has a clearly stated privacy policy that ensures the protection of users’ personal information. The policy explains how the website collects and uses data, and provides options for users to control their privacy settings. This commitment to privacy enhances user trust and confidence in the website.

Principle 4: Attribution

The ATA website appropriately attributes sources of information and supports its assertions with references to scientific literature and guidelines. Each section provides references to relevant studies and publications, allowing users to verify the accuracy and reliability of the information presented. The website also acknowledges contributions from healthcare professionals and organizations in the development of its content.

Principle 5: Justifiability

The content on the ATA website is accurate, up-to-date, and based on evidence. The website clearly states the sources of information and provides references for further investigation. The information on Thyroid Cancer is consistent with current medical knowledge and practice, making it a reliable resource for healthcare professionals and consumers.

Principle 6: Transparency

The ATA website is transparent about its financial support and funding sources. The “Support Thyroid Awareness” section provides information on sponsors and donors, ensuring transparency in maintaining the website. This transparency helps to build trust and credibility among users.

Principle 7: Financial Disclosure

The ATA website includes clear statements regarding its funding sources and any conflicts of interest. The website distinguishes between editorial and sponsored content, ensuring transparency in presenting information. This disclosure allows users to evaluate the potential influence of financial interests on the presented information.

Principle 8: Advertising Policy

The ATA website does not host any third-party advertisements, ensuring that the information is not influenced by commercial interests. This policy guarantees the integrity and impartiality of the information provided.

Overall, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) website demonstrates adherence to the principles outlined in the HON code of conduct. Its authority, complementarity, privacy policy, attribution of sources, justifiability, transparency, financial disclosure, and advertising policy contribute to its credibility as a reliable source of information on Thyroid Cancer.

Website 2: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association (ThyCa)

The Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association (ThyCa) is a non-profit organization that aims to provide support, education, and advocacy for people affected by Thyroid Cancer. Their website, www.thyca.org, offers resources for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

Principle 1: Authority

The ThyCa website establishes its authority through its mission statement and description of the organization’s history and achievements. The website emphasizes its focus on supporting and empowering Thyroid Cancer survivors and their families. Although it is not a professional organization, the website provides valuable insights and lived experiences from a patient perspective.

Principle 2: Complementarity

The ThyCa website provides complementary information on Thyroid Cancer from a patient’s point of view. It offers resources on topics such as coping strategies, survivor stories, and support groups. This patient-centered approach complements the medical information provided by professional organizations, catering to the holistic needs of individuals affected by Thyroid Cancer.

Principle 3: Privacy

The ThyCa website has a privacy policy that outlines how users’ personal information is collected and used. It includes measures to protect user privacy and provides options for users to control their data. However, the privacy policy lacks detailed information compared to that of the ATA website.

Principle 4: Attribution

The ThyCa website appropriately acknowledges the sources of information, including references to scientific literature, guidelines, and external resources. However, the inclusion of references and attributions is not as thorough as that of the ATA website.

Principle 5: Justifiability

The information on the ThyCa website is based on personal experiences and perspectives, which may not always align with evidence-based medical knowledge. While it provides valuable insights and support for patients, healthcare professionals should exercise caution in using this website as a standalone source of information on Thyroid Cancer.

Principle 6: Transparency

The ThyCa website is transparent about its funding sources and encourages donations to support its activities. However, it could provide more detailed information about its financial support and how it is utilized.

Principle 7: Financial Disclosure

The ThyCa website does not host third-party advertising, maintaining the integrity of information presented. However, it does include information on financial support received from sponsors, which could potentially influence the content. The website should provide further details about potential conflicts of interest.

Principle 8: Advertising Policy

The ThyCa website does not display third-party advertisements, ensuring that the information is not influenced by commercial interests. However, it should provide clear guidelines and policies regarding any partnerships or endorsements that may influence the content.

In conclusion, the ThyCa website serves as a valuable resource for individuals affected by Thyroid Cancer, providing support, education, and advocacy. While it may not adhere to all the principles outlined in the HON code of conduct, it offers a unique perspective from a patient’s viewpoint. Healthcare professionals should consider using this website in conjunction with other reputable sources to ensure the delivery of accurate and reliable information.

Overall, both websites provide valuable information on Thyroid Cancer, each with its own strengths and limitations. The American Thyroid Association (ATA) website demonstrates thorough adherence to the HON code of conduct, offering reliable and evidence-based information for healthcare professionals and consumers. The Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association (ThyCa) website offers a patient-centered perspective and support resources for individuals affected by Thyroid Cancer, complementing the medical information provided by professional organizations. Healthcare professionals should be aware of the strengths and limitations of these websites when referring clients to online resources and should encourage critical evaluation of health information found on the internet.