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 HeeterÃ¢ÂÂs 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.