The Internet has many advantages over other media in the provision of information services in the area of public health. However many designers are not yet taking full advantage of its potential for interactivity. This paper examines the development of interactivity in public health websites in the increasingly important area of Palliative Care. Content analysis is used here to map the interactivity in a sample of 30 existing websites along with Heeter’s six dimensions (content and availability of choice, effort users must exert, responsiveness to the users, and the ease of adding information, monitoring the information and the system use, and facilitation of interpersonal communication). The results of this study show that the effort users must currently exert in finding information .The presence of content as well as the availability of choice are the most prevalent options currently found in these websites. However, the overall level of opportunities for interactivity was low. This suggests that online palliative care sites are not as interactive as they could be. Designers are not yet taking full advantage of the range of opportunities that the Internet offers to promote health and the benefits that would come from using interactive tools for more active communication.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sumayya_banna/3/