Our TherapyFriends Quality Assurance Program
Our TF Quality Assurance (QA) program provides our information standards for the updating and operation of our TherapyFriends website.
It is the aim of TherapyFriends to produce and sustain good quality, evidence-based, information to the public across a wide range of mental health issues, with a focus on post-therapy socialisation and participation in our groups, forums, and online activities.
We adhere to the below standards and quality statements informed by best practice.
How we write our TF Articles
All of our articles (see https://therapyfriends.co.uk/all-tf-articles/) undergo a defined process through several layers of review, assignment of categories and tags, and overall suitability for publication on the TherapyFriends website.
- Article may be from TherapyFriends members, who must certify upon submission at https://therapyfriends.co.uk/your-tf-article/ that they are either: submitting original work; work with partial atributions to other authors and sources; and additionally must certify that permission has been granted in writing where the substantial use of other resources has been made.
- Trained staff review submitted member articles prior to their publication.
- Changed needed (citing sources, changes to language or meaning, etc) will be negotiated with the author prior to publication.
- TherapyFriends administration may author articles of the above nature, and may also write informative guides, user tips, and other similar materials of an entirely original nature to assist users.
Once our Administrative staff have given final sign-off for a new article, the article is published with a date, categories, and subject-based tags assigned to assist with both version control and for archiving.
TF Staff are routinely trained and brought up-to-date with current policies and procedures related to both article submission and publishing, and website operations in general.
When a TF Article is of a health-related nature, and claims or evidence is cited, we ensure that supporting documentation is of a reliable and well-known source (e.g. The Lancet, The British Psychological Society).
Information in TF Articles is created using high-quality evidence (where the evidence exists) and is presented in a balanced manner. Where there is no evidence to back up claims made by the submitting TherapyFriends member, this is made clear to member prior to publication.
We do double-check evidence sources periodically on reviews of all relevant articles, the Administrative staff refer certain articles to the TF Advisory Board where further investigation and confirmation of sources is required.
TF member understanding and involvement
Articles and information on the TherapyFriends website is geared towards persons interested in therapy, and in particular as a social resource for post-therapy former patients.
To that end, we concentrate on providing a mix of articles across a wide subject range, interspersed with articles which address therapy-related issues.
Taking into consideration the health literacy and accessibility needs of our valued TF members, we have two basic grade levels on which we publish information. The majority of articles are written on a grade eight level, with jargon and technical terminology explained; a smaller proportion of more in-depth articles are written on a grade 12 – 14 level, and are of interest to professional audiences as well.
All articles on TherapyFriends feature a prominent comments section which is monitored daily by TF staff members.
Administrative staff reviewing incoming articles submission confer as part of our review process, and may refer some articles to our TF Advisory board.
We maintain a limited number of authorised approver(s) to ensure any material bound for publication has sufficiently undergone our review process as outlined above.
All articles maintain original publication dates as well as revision dates, visible on each article.
We maintain rigorous spell-checking, grammar-checking and ensure the overall readability of articles is suitable to our audience. Medical, mental health and other terms are explained where required.
References are provided in both the footer of the article and in most cases, clickable footnote links within the article, for research-based and original works of a mental health nature. Such references mostly are available online, and are available from the submitting authors as required.
We maintain a rich environment to offer the reader access to further sources of information, as well as related information we have published on the TherapyFriends website within each article (in the form of subject-based links, sidebars to related articles, and to other sites as appropriate.
Feedback on any article is available in several ways, most prominently through a comments section, but additionally with our contact form to alert TherapyFriends administrators of any content in error, unsuitable or of questionable sourcing.
Any such errors, omissions or points for clarification are logged both by the website database, as well as recorded, actioned and resolved via email.
We make amendments to, or withdrawal of, TF articles immediately upon any such user-triggered review.
Article review is performed daily on popular articles, and at least once per year for all articles. Articles which have been deemed to be outdated, or with information which is no longer current are removed.
Our TF administrative staff follow the defined review processes as outlined severally above for all articles, and for articles more than 90 days old with the additional requirements of checking for information/source currency and present-day accuracy of information provided to our users.