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Article

Edda Tandi Lwoga

The purpose of this study sought to determine the characteristics that distinguish online from offline information seekers among people living with human immunodeficiency…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study sought to determine the characteristics that distinguish online from offline information seekers among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) in selected regional hospitals of Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 341 adults with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection attending the HIV clinics in the regional referral hospitals in Mwanza, Mbeya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The study used multivariate logistic regressions to determine factors that distinguish online HIV information seekers from offline HIV information seekers.

Findings

One in every five survey participants sought online HIV information (19.6 per cent, n = 67). Both higher level of education (odds ratio (OR) = 1.765, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI) = 1.208-2.58) and intention to use internet in future (OR = 1.566, 95 per cent CI 1.148-2.136) were predictors of online HIV information seeking behaviour at multivariate analysis. Respondents who sought online information reported to have gained knowledge such as; to understand their conditions better (77.4 per cent, n = 41) and understand information received from health care workers (66 per cent, n = 35), as well as acquisition of health promoting behaviour such as; asking questions during doctor’s visit (55 per cent, n = 35) and consulting a clinician when they have problems (64.3 per cent, n = 33). The offline HIV information seekers (n = 274) did not use internet due to lack of information seeking skills (44.3 per cent, n = 113) and lack of access to internet connectivity (30.2 per cent, n = 77).

Originality/value

This is a comprehensive study that differentiates online from offline HIV information seekers in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. The results suggest that interventions to improve online access information will empower patients and probably positively affect their health knowledge and health promoting behaviours.

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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 online

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

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Article

Tessa Withorn, Joanna Messer Kimmitt, Carolyn Caffrey Gardner, Anthony Andora, Cristina Springfield, Dana Ospina, Maggie Clarke, George Martinez, Amalia Castañeda, Aric Haas and Wendolyn Vermeer

This paper aims to present recently published resources on library instruction and information literacy, providing an introductory overview and a selected annotated…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present recently published resources on library instruction and information literacy, providing an introductory overview and a selected annotated bibliography of publications covering various library types, study populations and research contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper introduces and annotates English-language periodical articles, monographs, dissertations, reports and other materials on library instruction and information literacy published in 2019.

Findings

The paper provides a brief description of all 370 sources and highlights sources that contain unique or significant scholarly contributions.

Originality/value

The information may be used by librarians, researchers and anyone interested as a quick and comprehensive reference to literature on library instruction and information literacy.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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Book part

Timothy M. Hale, Melinda Goldner, Mike Stern, Patricia Drentea and Shelia R. Cotten

Since 2000, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals using the Internet, including for health purposes. Internet usage has increased from 46% of…

Abstract

Purpose

Since 2000, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals using the Internet, including for health purposes. Internet usage has increased from 46% of adults in 2000 to 79% in 2010. The purpose of this chapter is to examine changes in one type of Internet usage: online health searching. We examine the impact of traditional digital inequality factors on online health searching, and whether these patterns have changed over time.

Methodology

Using data from five surveys ranging from 2002 to 2010 (n = 5,967 for all five surveys combined), we examine changing patterns of online health searching over the past decade.

Findings

Effects vary by inequality factor and time period examined. Despite the diffusion of the Internet, most of these gaps persist, and even strengthen, over time. Gender, age, and education gaps persist over time and appear to be increasing. An exception to this is the importance of broadband connection.

Research limitations

Since these data were collected, the use of mobile devices to access the Internet has increased. Research is needed on types of access and devices used for online health activities.

Implications

Larger scale inequalities play important roles in online health searching. Providing access and skills in evaluating online health information is needed for older and less educated groups. The results of this study have implications for the de-professionalization of medical knowledge.

Originality

This is the first study to examine digital inequality factors in online health information seeking over the breadth of this time period.

Details

Technology, Communication, Disparities and Government Options in Health and Health Care Services
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-645-3

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Article

Edda Tandi Lwoga, Tumaini Nagu and Alfred Said Sife

This paper aims to determine factors that influence people living with HIV (PLHIV) to engage in internet-based HIV information seeking behaviour in selected Tanzanian…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine factors that influence people living with HIV (PLHIV) to engage in internet-based HIV information seeking behaviour in selected Tanzanian public regional hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a questionnaire-based survey to 221 PLHIV in two regional public hospitals in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They assessed the validity and reliability of the measurement model by using exploratory factor analysis and also used hierarchical regressions to examine the research hypotheses by using Statistical Package for Social Science.

Findings

The study found that there is low usage of internet (24.3 per cent) to search online HIV information. Factors related to attitude and information source accessibility predicted usage intentions of internet, while facilitating conditions, information source accessibility and usage intention of internet determined actual use of internet among PLHIV. Age moderated the effects of information source quality and social influence on usage intention of internet, and the effects of the information source accessibility and social influence on actual use of internet. The findings imply that younger PLHIV were more likely to use internet to access HIV information than the older respondents due to perceived ease of accessing information and quality of the online content. Further, older PLHIV were more influenced by the views of others when making decisions to use internet.

Practical implications

Health-care providers and libraries need to conduct regular studies on health needs of patients, and promote benefits of accessing online information; website designers need to design user-friendly databases; public libraries need to include a section on health information; hospital and public librarians need to provide catalogues of health information resources on their websites; and health-care providers need to improve technological infrastructure.

Originality/value

This is a comprehensive study that provides empirical findings to better understand the HIV information seeking behaviour from actual internet users, particularly factors that may influence PLHIV to seek online information in Tanzania.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 19 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article

Latisha Reynolds, Samantha McClellan, Susan Finley, George Martinez and Rosalinda Hernandez Linares

This paper aims to highlight recent resources on information literacy (IL) and library instruction, providing an introductory overview and a selected annotated…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight recent resources on information literacy (IL) and library instruction, providing an introductory overview and a selected annotated bibliography of publications covering all library types.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper introduces and annotates English-language periodical articles, monographs, dissertations and other materials on library instruction and IL published in 2015.

Findings

This paper provides information about each source, describes the characteristics of current scholarship and highlights sources that contain either unique or significant scholarly contributions.

Originality/value

The information may be used by librarians and interested parties as a quick reference to literature on library instruction and IL.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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Article

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

Keywords

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Book part

Erin Klawitter and Eszter Hargittai

Purpose: Many Internet users search for health information but they struggle with assessing the quality of the information they find. By drawing on a multi-modal approach

Abstract

Purpose: Many Internet users search for health information but they struggle with assessing the quality of the information they find. By drawing on a multi-modal approach to data collection, this study aims to understand further the nuanced cognitive processes that people utilize as they acquire and evaluate online health information.

Design: We used a mixed-methods approach that includes surveys, interviews, and observations of 76 diverse adults of all ages in the Chicago area completing various health information-seeking tasks.

Findings: Most participants begin their information-seeking process on search engines. We identified the most popular credibility-assessment strategies used on the search engine results’ pages (SERP) as well as on websites. We also explored how the process of executing such strategies reveals greater and lesser savvy among users.

Research Limitations: While the sample size and methods limit its generalizability, this study included a larger and more diverse group of participants than most observational work, which results in data about a wider range of behaviors than is typical of such research.

Social Implications: Our findings showed that most of our participants could use additional education regarding credibility assessment of online health information. Additionally, since a great deal of credibility assessment occurs on SERP, search companies bear a particular responsibility for ensuring the quality of the information their results highlight.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article

JungWon Yoon and Soojung Kim

Considering that the internet is a useful source for health information, especially by foreign-born students, this exploratory study aimed to investigate international…

Abstract

Purpose

Considering that the internet is a useful source for health information, especially by foreign-born students, this exploratory study aimed to investigate international graduate students' internet use in the context of seeking health information.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 54 Korean graduate students in the USA using a survey questionnaire. Quantitative analysis using SPSS was conducted to describe Korean graduate students' internet use for seeking health information and to identify factors that possibly influence their health-information seeking activities.

Findings

The survey participants preferred Korean resources because of language problems and the internet was the primary source. They reported difficulties in identifying appropriate health information sources and understanding medical information. They often sought online health information to solve their or their family's current health problems and consequently, personal relevance was regarded as an important evaluation criterion, as was accuracy.

Research limitations/implications

By looking at an understudied user group, this study leads to a better understanding of the patterns of internet use for seeking health information among a specific ethnic group. The findings of this study demonstrate the needs of health education materials and guidelines that introduce credible health information sources and medical information for Korean graduate students and their families.

Originality/value

Despite the increasing number of international students in the USA, there is a lack of research on the health information-seeking behavior of international students. The findings of this study will help health education specialists and health information professionals provide international students with necessary health information.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 66 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article

Stephan Dahl and Lynne Eagle

Patient empowerment (PE) is a key public health policy tool globally which is seen as unproblematic, but contains a number of unwarranted assumptions and unrecognised…

Abstract

Purpose

Patient empowerment (PE) is a key public health policy tool globally which is seen as unproblematic, but contains a number of unwarranted assumptions and unrecognised challenges to achieving effective implementation. Further, the theoretical foundations for understanding the impact of persuasive health communications on PE are weak. The purpose of this paper is to review these factors and to highlight major areas of concern.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the assumptions underpinning empowerment and the implicit theoretical foundations for active health information seeking behaviours are reviewed. This is then followed by a readability analysis of internet-based material relating to two general medical conditions, four chronic medical conditions and six patient information leaflets which was conducted to explore issues relation to the provision and readability of online health information.

Findings

The assumptions underpinning expectations of policy makers and health organisations regarding active health information seeking are shown to be problematic, with several potential impediments to effective PE implementation, including the fact that almost all of the online material reviewed is written in language too complex for the majority of the general public to comprehend, let alone act on.

Practical implications

Recommendations are made for guiding information seeking and a research agenda is outlined that would aid in strengthening theoretical underpinnings, expand knowledge and thereby help inform practice and policy debate regarding how PE can be improved.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to understanding of the challenges of effective health communication in the digital age by highlighting the need for a greater understanding of online health information seeking and the impact of limited health literacy and numeracy.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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