Web Site: Quackwatch: Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions Address: www.quackwatch.com Overall Rating * 1/2
Site Design: (*) Quackwatch is operated by Stephen Barrett, MD, a retired psychiatrist and author of numerous consumer-oriented books and articles. Developed as a resource for those interested in learning more about health care fraud, at first glance this site appears to be a compilation of biased dissertations on the dangers of pseudoscience, for example, homeopathic remedies and alternative medicine.
While an educated consumer is a worthwhile goal, Dr. Barrett's "activist" style is more likely to promote radical thinking among consumers than to provide a useful forum for critical decision making.
Ease of Navigation: (*) While links are well marked by category, the sheer number of topics that can be accessed on the home page is overwhelming. Visitors seeking information on a particular subject must search over 200 links to identify those topics that are pertinent to their research.
Information: (** 1/2) The quantity of information presented is impressive; however, visitors may question the quality. While most of the information presented at this site addresses health-related fraud, links to reports on paranormal phenomena and Internet crime can also be accessed. Dr. Barrett maintains a panel of scientific and technical advisors to help evaluate the accuracy of information and invites visitors to join his advisory board.
Resource Value: (* 1/2) Should you decide to visit this site, I suggest you review the selection of favorable and unfavorable e-mail comments received by Quackwatch. The resource value of this site depends on what the visitor is seeking. Personally, I would rate the entertainment value much higher that its contribution to consumer education.
Note: If you would like to contribute to this column, send your brief (1-2 paragraph) reviews of an interesting and pertinent article, book, video, etc. to Dermatology Nursing Literature Review, East Holly Avenue Box 56, Pitman, NJ 08071-0056; FAX 856-589-7463; E-Mail: email@example.com
Janice Cuzzell, MA, RN, is Wound Care Consultant, THA Services, Inc, Savannah, GA; and a Dermatology Nursing Editorial Board Member.