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Purpose: The primary purpose of this study is to examine the association between Internet use, skills, and health-related Internet activities, on the one hand, and…
Purpose: The primary purpose of this study is to examine the association between Internet use, skills, and health-related Internet activities, on the one hand, and perceived health outcomes of health-related Internet use, use of healthcare services, and self-rated health (SRH), on the other hand, the latter conceptualized as gains constituting the “third digital divide.” Secondarily, we seek to examine whether the above associations are maintained after accounting for demographic characteristics.
Methodology: A nationally representative random-digital-dial (RDD) telephone household survey of Israeli adult population (aged 21 and older, N = 819). The survey measured different dimensions of Internet use – frequency, experience, Web 1.0 general consumption and health-related activities, Web 2.0 production activities (general and health-related), and content evaluation. Potential health benefits included perceived outcomes of Internet use for health purposes, use of healthcare services and SRH.
Findings: In a multiple hierarchical regression model, adjusting for demographic variables, Internet use was associated with increased use of healthcare services and better perceived outcomes of Internet use for health purposes, but not with SRH.
Research Implications and Limitations: Health-related Internet use is associated with a sense of empowerment and enhanced use of healthcare services, but – after accounting for background variables – is not associated with SRH. Limitations include self-reports and a cross-sectional design, the latter precluding inference on causality.
Practical Implications: Internet use, specifically Web 1.0 consumption activities, is associated with increased use of healthcare services and is positively associated with perceived health outcomes. No such relationships were found for Web 2.0 activities. Future technological developments in services should take the digital divide into account and design products that will benefit disadvantaged groups.
Originality/Value: While rigorously assessing various dimensions of Internet use, the study distinguishes between various benefits of Internet use in the health domain, clarifying which benefits are associated with Internet use for health purposes.
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…
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.
Information and communication technology (ICT) usage is pervasive among present day youth, with about 95% of youth ages 12–17 years reporting use of the Internet. Due to…
Information and communication technology (ICT) usage is pervasive among present day youth, with about 95% of youth ages 12–17 years reporting use of the Internet. Due to the proliferation of ICT use among this generation, it is important to understand the impacts of ICT usage on well-being. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of ICT usage on psychological well-being among a sample of urban, predominately African American youth.
Paper and pencil surveys were administered to fourth and fifth grade students enrolled in 27 elementary schools in the southeastern United States. Relationships between hours using various types of ICTs and the frequency of Internet activities on depression, hopelessness, self-esteem, and belonging were examined using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression.
Results indicate that ICT usage has both positive and negative implications for psychological well-being, depending upon the type of ICT use and outcome being examined.
The proliferation of ICT usage among present day youth may actually lessen its impact on psychological well-being. Since the amount of ICT usage does not seem to influence psychological well-being, future research should examine the impact of ICT content on psychological well-being.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the first study to examine digital inequality factors in online health information seeking over the breadth of this time period.
Purpose: Previous research has found that people’s trust in a source of information affects whether they will expose themselves to information from that source, pay…
Purpose: Previous research has found that people’s trust in a source of information affects whether they will expose themselves to information from that source, pay attention to that source, and the likelihood that they will act on the information obtained from that source. This study tracked trends in levels of trust in different health information sources over time and investigated sociodemographic predictors of trust in these sources.
Methodology/Approach: Data were drawn from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of adults in the USA. Weighted percentages, means, and standard errors for trust in health information sources were computed using data from four iterations of the survey (2005, 2009, 2012, and 2013). Weighted multivariable logistic regression models were employed to investigate associations between sociodemographic variables and level of trust in health information sources using HINTS 2013 data.
Findings: Trend analyses revealed declining trust in “traditional” mass media channels, such as television and radio, for health information and consistently high trust in interpersonal sources, like physicians, over the past decade. Regression analyses showed that those with more education (ORs 2.93–4.59, p < 0.05) and higher incomes (ORs 1.65–2.09, p < 0.05) were more likely to trust the Internet for health information than those with less education and lower incomes. Non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to trust mass media channels in comparison to Non-Hispanic Whites (ORs 1.73–2.20, p < 0.05).
Implications: These findings can be used to inform the strategic selection of channels for disseminating health information to certain demographic groups.