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Book part
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Gül Seçkin, Susan Hughes, Cassie Hudson, David Laljer and Dale Yeatts

Purpose: The aim of the study is to consider the use of the Internet as a potential facilitator of positive health-related perceptions. Specifically, we propose that

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of the study is to consider the use of the Internet as a potential facilitator of positive health-related perceptions. Specifically, we propose that online health information seeking fosters positive perceptions of health. Using path modeling, we theorized several mechanisms through which information seeking could be conducive to positive health perceptions, which we conceptualized into the following four dimensions: (1) sense of empowerment in managing health, (2) self-reported ability to take better care of health, (3) sense of improved health-related quality of life, and (4) self-reported improvement of health.

Methodology: Our sample consisted of respondents who have used the Internet as a resource for health information (n = 710), drawn from the largest national probability-based online research panel. Our comparison subsample consisted of older respondents (age ≥ 60; n = 194). We used Internet-specific measures and employed structural equation models (SEM) to estimate the direct, indirect, and total effects of health-related use of the Internet on subjective health perceptions. Based on our review of the literature, competent health communication with healthcare providers and sense of empowerment in managing personal health were modeled as mediator variables. We assessed whether the proposed mediational relationships, if significant, differed across our indicators of positive health perceptions and whether any differential associations were observed among older adults. We run parallel models for each indicator of positive health perception.

Findings: Provider-patient communication informed by the Internet resources were perceived to impart a greater sense of empowerment to manage health among our respondents, which in turn, was associated with perceived contributions to better self-reported ability to provide self-care, increased health-related quality of life, and improvement in self-reported health. The SEM results revealed a good fit with our full sample and subsample.

Research Implications: Conceptualization of the multidimensional aspects of online health information seeking with separate multi-indicator analyses of the outcome variable is important to further our understanding of how technology may impact the pathways involved in influencing health perceptions and as a result health outcomes.

Details

eHealth: Current Evidence, Promises, Perils and Future Directions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-322-5

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 July 2021

Romy Menghao Jia, Jia Tina Du and Yuxiang Chris Zhao

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals' health information seeking is an important topic across multiple disciplines and areas. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals' health information seeking is an important topic across multiple disciplines and areas. The aim of this systematic review is to create a holistic view of sexual and gender minority individuals' health information seeking reported in multidisciplinary studies, with regard to the types of health information LGBTQ+ individuals sought and information sources they used, as well as the factors influencing their health information seeking behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

The review is based on the literature search in 10 major academic databases. A set of inclusion and exclusion criteria was applied to identify studies that provide evidence on LGBTQ+ individuals' health information seeking behavior. The studies were first screened by title and abstract to determine whether they met the inclusion criteria. The full texts of each relevant study were obtained to confirm whether the exclusion criteria were met. The reference lists of the included studies were manually scanned. The relevant information was then extracted from selected articles and analyzed using thematic content analysis.

Findings

A seed set of 3,122 articles published between 1997 and 2020 was evaluated, and 46 total articles were considered for further analysis. The review results show that two major categories of health information sought by LGBTQ+ individuals were sexual and nonsexual, which were further classified into 17 specific types. In terms of health information sources, researchers have reported that online resources, interpersonal sources and traditional media were frequently used. Moreover, 25 factors affecting LGBTQ+ individuals' health information seeking were identified from the literature.

Originality/value

Through evidence-based understanding, this review preliminarily bridged the knowledge gap in understanding the status quo of studies on LGBTQ+ individuals' health information seeking and proposed the potential research directions that information science researchers could contribute to this important area.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 78 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2017

Devon Greyson

Despite societal investment in providing health information to young parents, little is known about the health information practices of young parents themselves. The…

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite societal investment in providing health information to young parents, little is known about the health information practices of young parents themselves. The purpose of this paper is to explore young parents’ health information practices in context.

Design/methodology/approach

This constructivist grounded theory study investigates the health information practices of young mothers and fathers (age 16-23) in Greater Vancouver, Canada. Data were collected over 16 months via individual interviews with 39 young parents (37 mothers, 2 fathers) and observations at young parent programs. Inductive analysis was iterative with data collection.

Findings

Young parent health information practices emerged, clustering around concepts of information seeking, assessment, and use, with sharing conceptualised as a form of use. Many young parents were sophisticated information seekers, and most were highly networked using mobile technology. While access to information was rarely a barrier, assessment of the large quantity of health-related information posed challenges.

Research limitations/implications

These findings are not generalisable to all populations. Newly identified information-seeking practices such as defensive and subversive seeking should be explored further in future research.

Practical implications

Rather than focusing on quantity of information, health and information professionals trying to reach young parents should focus on fostering information literacy skills and building relationships as trusted information providers.

Social implications

Young parent experiences of social marginalisation influenced their information practices and should be taken into consideration.

Originality/value

This first investigation of young parent information practices can guide services and resources for young parents, suggests that sharing might be conceptualised as a subset of use, and highlights new information-seeking practices by marginalised individuals, such as defensive and subversive seeking.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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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

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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: 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…

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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.

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2010

Ágústa Pálsdóttir

This paper aims to explore health and lifestyle information seeking behaviour by examining the connection between purposive information seeking and information encountering.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore health and lifestyle information seeking behaviour by examining the connection between purposive information seeking and information encountering.

Design/methodology/approach

Data on purposive seeking and information encountering, gathered from postal surveys in 2002 and 2007, were compared. Random samples of 1,000 Icelanders, aged 18 to 80 were used. The response rate was 51 per cent in 2002 and 47 per cent in 2007. Based on the purposive seeking in 22 sources, k‐means cluster analysis was used to draw four clusters of participants: passive, moderately passive, moderately active and active.

Findings

The results from 2007 and 2002 revealed the same kind of information seeking. The findings indicate that information encountering is an integral feature of information seeking behaviour. Information is encountered more often than sought on purpose by all clusters. Clusters that were active in purposive information seeking were also active in information encountering and those who were passive in either of the two styles of information seeking were also passive in the other.

Research limitations/implications

The response rates are considered satisfactory in postal surveys. Nevertheless, when missing data in the cluster analysis are also considered it raises a question about the validity of the findings. The findings of the studies, however, are strengthened by the fact that respondents reflect the population fairly well.

Practical implications

Improved knowledge of information seeking and how different groups within society can be reached more effectively is important for health promotion and public health practice.

Originality/value

The paper uses quantitative methods to examine the connection between purposive information seeking and information encountering.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 66 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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…

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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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 April 2010

Torben Hansen, Heidi Boye and Thyra Uth Thomsen

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the role of gender, food health involvement, and food health information competency in predicting consumer food…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the role of gender, food health involvement, and food health information competency in predicting consumer food health information seeking.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model for predicting consumer food health information seeking is proposed. The predicting constructs are general food health involvement, general food health competency, product‐specific health involvement, and product‐specific food health competency. The relationships between construct are estimated using structural equation modelling. Data were collected in a nationally representative consumer‐panel among 504 Danish consumers using a questionnaire.

Findings

The results suggest that improving consumers' general food health involvement may only lead to increased product‐specific health information seeking if consumers at the same time are involved in the specific product category. The results also revealed that women are generally more food health involved than men but did not support previous research suggesting that women also are more knowledgeable about healthy food and that they more often seek product‐specific food health‐related information.

Research limitations/implications

This research concentrated on analysing one food product, salad dressing. A large cross‐section of products ought to be studied to improve the generalizability of the obtained result and thus future research may wish to incorporate a wider range of food products.

Practical implications

The results suggest that food authorities and/or food marketers seeking to promote a healthy life‐style should consider providing examples of healthy product categories (food authorities) and/or particular products (food marketers) along with their general health information.

Originality/value

This paper empirically investigates gender along with a number of mental constructs for the purpose of understanding consumers' food health information seeking. Also, the paper explores age and educational level as possible moderating variables of the consumer food health information seeking process.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 112 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 February 2022

Zahra Shamlou, Mohammad Karim Saberi and Mohammad Reza Amiri

Today, the Internet has become an attractive source for obtaining health information. Since women play an important role in maintaining the health of the family and…

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Abstract

Purpose

Today, the Internet has become an attractive source for obtaining health information. Since women play an important role in maintaining the health of the family and community and since they are active seekers of health information through the Internet, it is essential to examine their online health information seeking behavior. Therefore, the main purpose of this article is to identify the factors affecting the online health information seeking intention and behavior of women.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework of this quantitative study was based on the theory of planned behavior. A total of five hypothesized relationships were formulated to develop a conceptual model. The study approach was quantitative. Using simple random sampling, 400 women referred to specialized and sub-specialized clinics of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Iran participated in the study and responded to the survey. Descriptive and inferential data analysis was performed using SPSS 21 and Smart PLS 3 software.

Findings

The results showed that the intention to find health information online is a function of psychological variables. These variables include attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control. Findings showed that attitude is the most important factor affecting online health information seeking intention. It was also found that online health information seeking intention has a positive and significant effect on women's information seeking behavior.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to use an important and universally accepted theory to identify the factors affecting the online health information seeking behavior of women referring to specialized and sub-specialized clinics and provides important practical concepts for health officials and managers to improve and develop online health information seeking behavior.

Details

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

Keywords

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. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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