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Interactive Health Communication icon  IHC Application Checklist: SciPICH Results

Name of Application:  

The Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Health Web site


Background of Developers/Sponsors

Is the identity of the developers and sponsors clearly stated?    

Yes.  On the About SciPICH page, it is stated that the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has sponsored this Web site as a free informational service to the public.

Do the developers have expertise (or use experts) in the content area?   

Yes.  The panel and staff members who created this site have combined expertise in medicine, public health, communication, and new technologies.  Their credentials and current positions are available in the About SciPICH section.

Is there a mechanism to contact the developers?  

Yes.  Listed at the bottom of every page is a "comments" e-mail link,, and link to the site's Feedback form, located on the navigation bar.

Does the application disclose any potential conflicts of interest or biases of the developers and sponsors?   

Such conflicts are not noted. On the About SciPICH page, it is stated that this informational Web site is sponsored by the U.S. government and provided as a free service to the public.


Does the application state its specific purpose?   

Yes. The opening paragraph on the home page states that the site was developed to help people learn about, evaluate, and select interactive health communication (IHC) applications.

Does the application state the intended audience(s) and specific health issue(s) it addresses?  

Yes. The site is intended for those who would like help in evaluating and selecting IHC applications. In the "About SciPICH" section, users can select Site Tour for a quick overview of site features and audiences who might be interested in this information.  The Interactive Health Communication section offers an introduction to those new to the topic, and the Evaluation Reporting Template area appeals to developers, users and purchasers of IHC. The Resource Center may interest researchers and others looking for IHC-related references and other resources.  The Publications section offers links to the panel's published works.

Do the application’s purpose and objectives match the likely needs of its intended users?   

It seems that through this Web site, the panel is addressing public informational needs identified in their research and collaborative work.


Is the original source(s) of the content identified?    

Yes.  On the About SciPICH page, it states that the content provided was either created or reviewed by SciPICH members.

Is the original source(s) of the content likely to be reliable and without bias?  

Yes.  However, on the About SciPICH page, it is stated that the SciPICH cannot control and is not responsible for content found on Web sites other than its own.

Is the content updated sufficiently to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date?   

Yes.  As the field of IHC changes, so will the content of this site.  Content revisions and updates are planned on a monthly or as requested basis and are referenced at the bottom of each Web page. 

Is the application’s method of ensuring the validity of its content reasonable?   

Yes.  On the About SciPICH page, it states that SciPICH members, liaisons, and staff meet regularly to discuss and review all collaborative work and related products, such as this Web site.  Also, the original articles produced by the SciPICH have all been accepted for future publication by peer-reviewed scientific journals. 


If relevant, does the application specify whether and how users' confidentiality or anonymity is protected?   

Yes.  This information is found on the Privacy and Confidentiality of Submissions page, which is linked off the navigation bar found at the bottom of each page.

If relevant, does the application specify who has access to information about its users?  

Yes.  This information is found on the Privacy and Confidentiality of Submissions page, where it is stated that this site will collect e-mail and contact information from visitors who voluntarily register their IHC applications with using the Evaluation Reporting Template.


Is the application easy to use?   

If it is not easy, I am able to address this concern by filling out the Feedback form, which asks visitors to offer suggestions for Web site improvement, comments, or report bugs that need to be fixed.

Are the reading/comprehension level, graphics, audio, and other multimedia features appropriate for the intended user?   


Does it require special and/or high level technology?

No, the site requires an Internet connection and Web browser software.

Evaluation Results and Effectiveness

Do the developers provide any evaluation results about the effectiveness or impact of the application in the following areas?

Not at this time.

If yes, please identify:

__ usability of application 
__ user satisfaction   
__ changes in user knowledge or attitudes  
__ changes in health behaviors  
__ changes in health status (morbidity or mortality)  
__ changes in costs or use of resources

If evaluation results are available:

Did the application specify the funding source for the evaluation and potential conflicts of interest of the evaluators?  

Not applicable

Was the evaluation conducted with people similar to the intended target group of the application?

Not applicable

Did the evaluation compare users to non-users?

Not applicable

If yes, were evaluation participants randomly assigned to being users or non-users?
If no, did the evaluation results include a rationale for caution and other possible explanations for the results?


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Source: The Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Health, September 1998

Comments:   Updated: 05/01/08