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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

Keywords

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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: 23 March 2021

Sue Yeon Syn and JungWon Yoon

This study aims to understand how college students' personal and health-related characteristics are related to their reading behaviors and cognitive outcomes of Facebook…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand how college students' personal and health-related characteristics are related to their reading behaviors and cognitive outcomes of Facebook health information through eye tracking data and cognitive outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyzed users' gaze movement data and results of recall and recognition tests to investigate users' reading patterns and their consequences with cognitive outcomes. The gaze movements are analyzed with eye tracking data including the average fixation count and time to first fixation.

Findings

The results of reading patterns show that Texts and Images are highly viewed and viewed immediately by participants when the posts were presented. There was no clear pattern with fixation counts to determine cognitive outcomes. However, the findings of study suggest that there is a clear pattern of reading Facebook posts with areas of interest (AOIs). Among five AOIs observed, participants viewed Images first and then Texts when a Facebook post is presented. On the other hand, they read Texts more carefully than Images. The findings of this study suggest that while images contribute to gaining users' attention, a clear and precise message needs to be delivered in text message to ensure readers' correct understanding and application of health information.

Originality/value

The user-centered evidence on reading behaviors and cognitive outcomes will make contributions to how health professionals and health organizations can make optimal use of Facebook for effective health information communication.

Peer review

The peer-review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-05-2020-0177

Details

Online Information Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2013

Allison Janeice Morgan and Eileen M. Trauth

The purpose of this paper is to consider the effect of demographic differences on the motivations and abilities of individuals with diabetes in their search for health

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the effect of demographic differences on the motivations and abilities of individuals with diabetes in their search for health information online. Using data gathered from a qualitative study of 30 individuals, the paper examined instances of user-based health motivation and abilities using the lens of demographic differences to identify the influence on health information searching and potential health outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilized an interpretive, mixed methodology research design. The paper was composed of a user “experience” that served as a critical incident to the paper, where each participant was prompted to do online searching for health and nutrition information. This was followed by open-ended interviews to gain a deeper understanding of each participants’ online searching experience.

Findings

The theoretical model used was the Integrated Model of E-Health Use by Dutta-Bergman (2006) which frames the influence of group and individual-level differences on health information search and e-health use and subsequently health outcomes. The paper found that experiences among diabetic patients who have an assumed intrinsic motivation to search have differential searching behaviors due to a number of factors including access to health care provider or resources, searching success, and significant people in the individuals’ lives. Assumptions about race and socio-economic status are challenged because of the geographic location in which people live and work.

Research limitations/implications

This research on intersectionality and the health information consumer contributes to a better understanding of health information searching behavior. Implications from this research for practice are that search technology in the domain of health should be made customizable, that a variety of user perspectives should be incorporated in the e-health systems development process, and that a comprehensive view of the user in system development should be utilized. In addition, those with diabetes or other chronic illnesses should seek out a variety of resources to enhance their health outcomes.

Originality/value

The examination constitutes one of the few investigations into health information consumer characteristics that might influence the person-technology-information interaction in the context of health care provision. This type of examination into health care consumer characteristics and information behavior is necessary because it has bearing on the success of health care information systems implementation and impact.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Dan Wu, Hao Xu and Shu Fan

This paper aims to identify consumers' health information consultation patterns by analyzing information sources to better understand consumers' health information needs…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify consumers' health information consultation patterns by analyzing information sources to better understand consumers' health information needs and behavior in the context of multisource health information.

Design/methodology/approach

Haodaifu Online, an online health consultation (OHC) website in China, was used as a research data source, and 20,000 consultation cases were collected from the website with Python. After screening and cleaning, 1,601 consultation cases were included in this study. A content analysis-based mixed-methods research approach was applied to analyze these cases.

Findings

The results indicate that with the participation of OHC, there are 15 patterns of consumer health information consultation. Besides OHC, health information sources reported by consumers included medical institutions family/friends and the Internet. Consumers consult on a wide range of health issues including surgical conditions obstetrical and gynecological conditions and other 20 subjects. Consumers have multiple information needs when using OHC: getting prescriptions, diagnosing diseases, making appointments, understanding illnesses, confirming diagnoses and reviewing costs. Through further analysis it was found that consumers’ health information consultation patterns were also significantly different in health issues and health information needs.

Originality/value

This study broadens one’s understanding of consumer health information behavior, which contributes to the field of health information behavior, and also provides insight for OHC stakeholders to improve their services.

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Article
Publication date: 9 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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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Ashraf Sadat Ahadzadeh, Saeed Pahlevan Sharif and Fon Sim Ong

The purpose of this paper is two fold: to test the moderating effect of health consciousness (HC) on the influence of attitude towards internet (AI) internet usage for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is two fold: to test the moderating effect of health consciousness (HC) on the influence of attitude towards internet (AI) internet usage for health information seeking (IHI) behaviour; and examine whether HC moderates the influence of perceived health risk (PHR) on the internet usage for health information which is mediated by perceived usefulness of internet (PUI) and AI usage in an integrated model underpinned by health belief model and the technology acceptance model.

Design/methodology/approach

Data obtained for the current study were collected using convenience sampling and the sample consisted of women who not only have internet access but used the internet in their daily life. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) method was used to test the research hypotheses developed from a sample of 270 respondents.

Findings

Findings revealed that HC moderates the influence of AI use for health information seeking. In addition, the results also showed that the positive indirect effect of PHR on IHI through PUI and AI usage is significant for high level of HC but not for the medium and low levels of HC.

Originality/value

Major contribution of this study is in the testing of the moderating role of HC on the mediating effect of perceived usefulness of the internet and attitude on PHR and IHI.

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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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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Sejin Ha and Yun Jung Lee

This study aims to examine the relationships between consumer self‐confidence in health information search and health‐related outcomes (i.e. knowledge about cancer…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the relationships between consumer self‐confidence in health information search and health‐related outcomes (i.e. knowledge about cancer prevention, healthcare behavior, and use of the web as a primary source for health information). The associations between self‐confidence in health information search and its predictors (i.e. health literacy and trust in health information sources) are explored as well.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey data. Stepwise linear regression analyses, a logistic regression analysis, and stepwise multiple regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results from this study revealed that consumer self‐confidence in health information search appears to be linked with perceptions of health literacy and trust in information sources, particularly, trust in health professionals (e.g. doctors, healthcare professionals, government health agencies, family and friends, the internet), but not in information‐focused media (newspapers or magazines). Furthermore, as expected, consumer self‐confidence in health information search determines two health‐related outcomes, which are knowledge about cancer prevention and healthcare behavior.

Originality/value

The results of this study provide researchers with a better understanding about the key factors guiding consumers to have informed healthcare and enabling public health agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of their policies.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

Keywords

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