Recommended

American Psychiatric Association

American Psychiatric Association is an introductory general mental health resource for patients and providers. The writing for patient education information about these common mental health conditions is presented clearly. The site is recommended to provide a basic understanding of mental disorders and links to supportive resources.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019

Scoring

Ease of Use

Mental health information is found in the "Patients & Families" category tab, which drops down to an alphabetical list of conditions covered on the website. Clicking on a condition such as "Depression" brings users to a page containing "Topic Information," "Expert Q & A," "Blog Posts," and "Patient Story." Pages have a consistent layout but the content seems randomly placed on the page, and the user needs to scroll to browse the offerings.

Visual Design

The "Patients & Families" page has minimal color, no welcoming image or slogan, and long subtopic lists in light colored font contribute to a clinical feel to the homepage. There is little visual variety in the text, although the font is easy to read.

Quality

Although The American Psychiatric Association site only covers common mental health conditions are discussed, each has enough detail to provide users a good overall understanding. Aside from a few referenced topics, the source of most of the content is the professional opinion of reviewers. More consistent referencing would enhance the reliability of the patient education content.

Credibility

Although no authors are identified, site content reviewers are credited medical authorities. Lack of specific credentialing information partially impairs the credibility of the content. Intermittent reviews are performed on each topic, but many reviews are more than two years ago with may affect the currency of that content. Overall there are better site to obtain mental health information.

Pros

  1. Clicking on a condition, brings users to a page with information including definitions, treatment, related disorders, and similar topics
  2. Each mental condition explored goes into a fair amount of depth without overwhelming the reader
  3. Clear writing and scientifically accurate

Cons

  1. Only the more common mental health problems are discussed
  2. Much of the content focuses on topics that have little relevance to readers who are not mental health professionals or trainees
  3. Irregular reviews may result in some of the content being outdated

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: American Psychiatric Association is a nonprofit international association of psychiatrists and was founded in 1844. It is supported by individual and corporate donors, and Amazon Smile

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Find a psychiatrist tool (does not work well), condition-specific videos, blogs, news coverage, ask an expert, and patient stories for each topic, podcasts, newsletter, links to resources

Languages: English

Contact: apa@psych.org

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