What Online Health-Related Behaviors Lead to Being Helped?

By Hui Zhang.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: January 14, 2016 $US5.00

Prior studies of the use of online health information have primarily focused on evaluation of information quality, credibility of information sources, seekers’ trust in online information, and implication of people’s health status on the types of information they seek. Though there is an increasing concern over people’s e-health literacy, few studies have examined what characteristics of health information seeking behaviors will predict positive offline outcome. The study is based on secondary analysis of data from Pew Internet and American Life Project 2008. The overall model with all six proposed factors included was statistically significant, x2 (6, N = 2253) = 624.06, p < .001. The model accounted for 26.20% (Nagelkerke R2) of the variance in reporting oneself or another being helped by online health information. Five factors, which are number of health- related task types, number of health topics, frequency of health-related use of the Internet, frequency of Internet use in general, and education, individually predicted the positive offline outcome. Implications of the findings are also discussed.

Keywords: Online Health-Information Seeking Behavior, Effects of Online Health Information

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 14, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 670.310KB)), ISSN: ISSN 2156-8960.

Hui Zhang

Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA