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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2019

Jonas Tana, Emil Eirola and Kristina Eriksson-Backa

This paper brings focus and attention to the aspect of time within health information behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to critically assess and present strengths…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper brings focus and attention to the aspect of time within health information behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to critically assess and present strengths and weaknesses of utilising the infodemiology approach and metrics as a novel way to examine temporal variations and patterns of online health information behaviour. The approach is shortly exemplified by presenting empirical evidence for temporal patterns of health information behaviour on different time-scales.

Design/methodology/approach

A short review of online health information behaviour is presented and methodological barriers to studying the temporal nature of this behaviour are emphasised. To exemplify how the infodemiology approach and metrics can be utilised to examine temporal patterns, and to test the hypothesis of existing rhythmicity of health information behaviour, a brief analysis of longitudinal data from a large discussion forum is analysed.

Findings

Clear evidence of robust temporal patterns and variations of online health information behaviour are shown. The paper highlights that focussing on time and the question of when people engage in health information behaviour can have significant consequences.

Practical implications

Studying temporal patterns and trends for health information behaviour can help in creating optimal interventions and health promotion campaigns at optimal times. This can be highly beneficial for positive health outcomes.

Originality/value

A new methodological approach to study online health information behaviour from a temporal perspective, a phenomenon that has previously been neglected, is presented. Providing evidence for rhythmicity can complement existing epidemiological data for a more holistic picture of health and diseases, and their behavioural aspects.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Zhaohua Deng, Shan Liu and Oliver Hinz

Although the health information seeking behavior of consumers through the internet has received great attention, limited attempt has been made to integrate both the health

Abstract

Purpose

Although the health information seeking behavior of consumers through the internet has received great attention, limited attempt has been made to integrate both the health information seeking behavior and the usage behavior in a mobile online context. The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that influence consumer mobile health information seeking (MHIS) and usage behavior based on information quality, perceived value, personal health value, and trust.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to collect data. A two-step approach of structure equation modeling based was used to test the measurement model and hypothesis model.

Findings

Information quality, perceived value, and trust were found to have positive effects on both the intention to seek and to use health information, and that the intention to seek affects the intention to use. Among the three components of perceived value, the utilitarian and epistemic values were found to have significant effects on intention to seek. In addition, the current health status of health consumers moderates the relationships between MHIS and usage intention and their determinants.

Originality/value

Studies have primarily focussed on online health information seeking behavior, whereas a few of these studies have examined the seeking behavior intention and the usage behavior intention in a general model. The results indicate that health information usage behavior intention is closely related to the seeking behavior intention in the mobile context, which enriches the research on the relationship between information seeking and its outcomes. Furthermore, this study highlights the impact of information quality, perceived value, and trust on the intention to seek, and the impacts of information quality and trust on the intention to use, which have been overlooked in previous studies on MHIS.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Jo-Yun Li and Yeunjae Lee

This study seeks to address the question on the role of information-seeking behavior in dealing with uncertainty on workplace health disclosure from the perspectives of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to address the question on the role of information-seeking behavior in dealing with uncertainty on workplace health disclosure from the perspectives of internal communication.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted with 409 full-time employees in large-sized companies in the United States.

Findings

The results showed that employees engage in proactive and passive information-seeking strategies when they are uncertain about their supervisors' reactions toward their health problems. Positive EOR and organizational climate would increase their intention to adopt inquiry strategy, whereas negative EOR and the climate would increase their intention to adopt monitoring strategy. Employees who adopt inquiry strategy tend to perceive the benefits of health disclosure, whereas those who adopt monitoring strategy tend to perceive the risks of health disclosure. If employees perceived increased benefits in terms of health disclosure, then they tend to disclose their health problems to their supervisors, and vice versa.

Originality/value

This study is among first to investigate workplace health disclosure decision-making from the perspectives of internal communication. These findings highlight the importance of excellent internal communications in employees' health disclosure decision-making process and support the proposition that proactive information-seeking is a strategy that contributes to uncertainty management in the workplace. This study also provides significant practical guidelines for corporate communication practitioners and leaders by establishing a safe and friendly environment where employees feel comfortable to disclose their health problems to supervisors.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Muhammad Riaz, Xiwei Wang, Sherani and Yu Guo

Drawing upon the communicative ecology theory (CET), this study aims to identify the potential precursors of social media health information seeking intentions (ISI) and…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon the communicative ecology theory (CET), this study aims to identify the potential precursors of social media health information seeking intentions (ISI) and examine their effects on health information re-sharing behaviors and PHH during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The data is collected through an online survey conducted in two different universities situated in highly COVID-19-affected cities – Wuhan and Zhengzhou, China. The valid data consists of 230 useful responses from WeChat users and to analyze the final data set structural equation modeling (SEM) is used.

Findings

The results indicate that perceived health information credibility (PIC), trust on the medium (TRM) and peer influence (PI) significantly affect health ISI which further affects health information re-sharing behaviors (IRB) and personal health-care habits (PHH). Besides, the results also identify that PI has a direct, positive and significant effect on health IRB via social media during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research limitations/implications

This study investigates the health information intentional behavior precursors and their consequences via WeChat (taken as social media platform) during COVID-19 pandemic. Future studies may conduct research by examining online information behaviors on other social media platforms – Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. – in health emergency situations.

Practical implications

The health information producers and providers have to deal with communicative ecology sentiments elegantly in emergency situations such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. They need to do collective efforts by introducing new tools or social apps which deal with valuable, reliable and accurate health content and information generated by the pandemic experts and health professionals. In such a way, the social apps and tools (Information providers) will act as mediators between the health professionals (Information producers) and general social media users (information seekers). Such initiatives will ultimately bring forth positive effect on individuals’ PHH as a whole within a network, community, environment or nations during a health emergency – COVID-19 pandemic.

Originality/value

This research is one of the first studies to examine the potential precursors of social media health ISIs and their resultant effects on individual’s health IRB and PHH during the COVID-19 pandemic. As currently it is noticed, an incredible upsurge of health information via social media has intense impacts on personal health-care research and practice, particularly during health emergency situations such as COVID-19 pandemic conditions.

Details

Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2019

Yuanyuan Feng

The purpose of this paper is to report the design and implementation of the enhanced participant-driven photo elicitation method in a qualitative interview study, to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the design and implementation of the enhanced participant-driven photo elicitation method in a qualitative interview study, to assess the performance of the method to investigate a research topic in everyday life health information behaviour and to provide insights on how to effectively use this method in future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The author embedded the enhanced participant-driven photo elicitation in a qualitative interview study to examine people’s everyday life health information behaviour with activity tracking technology. The author assessed the types of visual data collected by the method, categories of elicitation enabled by the method and how the method contributed to key research findings of the interview study.

Findings

The enhanced participant-driven photo elicitation generated rich, unique and meaningful data that would be otherwise difficult to collect through conventional qualitative interviews. The method also elicited explanation, rationalisation and reflection during the interviews, which enriched and triangulated key research findings. This work validated the benefits of the general photo elicitation method such as aiding participants’ recall of experiences, enriching research findings and improving research validity. It also demonstrated that the enhancement techniques used in this study could generate rich and even research data across interviews.

Originality/value

This paper describes the design and implementation of the enhanced participant-driven photo elicitation method to augment a qualitative interview study with activity tracker users. The author provides recommendations for researchers to take full advantage of the method in future everyday life health information behaviour research.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

Christine Marton and Chun Wei Choo

By selectively reviewing theory‐driven survey studies on internet health information seeking, the paper aims to provide an informal assessment of the theoretical…

Abstract

Purpose

By selectively reviewing theory‐driven survey studies on internet health information seeking, the paper aims to provide an informal assessment of the theoretical foundations and research methods that have been used to study this information behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

After a review of the literature, four theory‐driven quantitative survey studies are analyzed in detail. Each study is examined in terms of: theoretical framework; research variables that form the focus of the study; research design (sampling, data collection and analysis); and findings and results of hypothesis testing and model testing. The authors then discuss the theoretical models and analytical methods adopted, and identify suggestions that could be helpful to future researchers.

Findings

Taken as a whole, the studies reviewed point strongly to the need for multidisciplinary frameworks that can capture the complexity of online health information behavior. The studies developed theoretical frameworks by drawing from many sources – theory of planned behavior, technology acceptance model, uses and gratifications, health belief model, and information seeking models – demonstrating that an integration of theoretical perspectives from the health sciences, social psychology, communication research, and information science, is required to fully understand this behavior. The results of these studies suggest that the conceptual models and analytical methods they adopted are viable and promising. Many relationships tested showed large effect sizes, and the models evaluated were able to account for between 23 and 50 percent of the variance in the dependent variables.

Originality/value

The paper represents a first attempt to compare, evaluate, and to a degree synthesize the work that has been done to develop and test theoretical models of health information seeking on the web.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 68 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2020

Xiaoting Xu, Mengqing Yang, Yuxiang Chris Zhao and Qinghua Zhu

Based on the examination of the roles of message framing and evidence type, this study made an analysis of the promotion methods of intention and information need towards…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the examination of the roles of message framing and evidence type, this study made an analysis of the promotion methods of intention and information need towards HPV vaccination.

Design/methodology/approach

The study conducted a 2 (gain-framed messages vs loss-framed messages) × 2 (statistical evidence vs narrative evidence) quasi-experimental design built upon theories of message framing and evidence type. This experiment recruited college students who were not vaccinated against HPV as participants. The analysis of variance (ANOVA), the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), and the independent sample T-test were used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results (N = 300) indicate that (1) Loss-framed messages will lead to a more favorable intention towards HPV vaccination than gain-framed messages. (2) Statistical evidence will lead to a more explicit information need than narrative evidence. (3) Message framing and evidence type will interact and (a) for statistical evidence, loss-framed messages will lead to a more favorable intention towards HPV vaccination than gain-framed messages and (b) for narrative evidence, gain-framed messages will lead to a more favorable intention towards HPV vaccination than loss-framed messages. (4) Message framing and evidence type will interact and (a) for loss-framed messages, statistical evidence will stimulate more explicit information need of HPV vaccination than narrative evidence and (b) for gain-framed messages, narrative evidence will stimulate more explicit information need of HPV vaccination than statistical evidence.

Originality/value

This paper can help to further understand the important roles of message framing and evidence type in health behavior promotion. The study contributes to the literature on how health information can be well organized to serve the public health communication and further enhance the health information service.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 73 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 10 March 2020

Yijin Chen, Yiming Zhao and Ziyun Wang

This study considers online searching by health information consumers as a learning process. We focus on search sequences, query reformulation, and conceptual changes.

Abstract

Purpose

This study considers online searching by health information consumers as a learning process. We focus on search sequences, query reformulation, and conceptual changes.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative user study (30 participants; three health information seeking tasks) investigated mobile searching behavior. Recorded screen activity, questionnaires, and in-depth personal interview data were collected and analyzed.

Findings

(1) Search platform sequences of health information consumers in search as a learning process were exacted and their features were highlighted. (2) Query sequence and reformulation pattern of health information consumers were exacted and discussed. (3) The types and degree of conceptual changes of health consumers were reflected by their query reformulation behavior and differ from different health information search tasks. (4) Characteristics of health consumers' search as learning process were revealed.

Research limitations/implications

(1) A novel perspective of consumer health information studies was proposed by exacting search platform sequence, query sequence and linking them with conceptual changes during the search as learning process. (2) Conceptual changes in the searching as a learning process are regarded as a measure of search outcome in this study, in which terms extracted from queries were used to reflect conceptual changes in consumers' mind. (3) Our findings provide evidences that types of health information seeking tasks do have significant influences on the search as a learning process.

Practical Implications

The findings of this study can lead to the fit-to-needs of the search platforms, provide advice for information architecture of search list of search platforms, and guide the design of knowledge graph of health information systems.

Originality/value

Potential relationships between information-seeking behavior and conceptual changes in search as a learning process relative to health information were revealed.

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Book part
Publication date: 9 October 1996

Bryce Allen

Abstract

Details

Information Tasks: Toward a User-centered Approach to Information Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-801-8

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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2013

Edda Tandi Lwoga and Neema Florence Mosha

The aim of this paper is to assess information needs and information seeking behaviour of parents and caregivers of children with mental illness at the Kilimanjaro…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to assess information needs and information seeking behaviour of parents and caregivers of children with mental illness at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Tanzania. The study mainly assessed the information needs of parents and caregivers of children with mental illness, their preferable sources of health information, and their constraints on information seeking.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a case study research design, where 168 structured questionnaires were distributed to parents and caregivers of children with mental illness at the Neurological Pediatrics Outpatient Clinic of KCMC. The rate of response was 89.3 per cent.

Findings

The study found that health information needs of parents and caregivers were mainly associated with health care (for example, nutrition, treatment) and health education. Parents and caregivers of children with mental illness used the internet as the main source of information about their children's health, which was followed by printed books and television. Health information seeking behaviour appeared similar across gender categories, but there were differences on the use of print and electronic information sources according to age and level of education. The main factors that hindered access to health information included low level of education, lack of funds and health information illiteracy.

Practical implications

The paper provides useful suggestions that would facilitate information seeking and use among parents and caregivers of children with mental illness in Tanzania and other countries with similar conditions.

Originality/value

Previous studies on the topic are scanty and, therefore, the paper provides important insights into the information needs and information seeking behaviour of parents and caregivers of children with mental illness in a developing country setting.

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