bims-librar Biomed news
on Biomedical Librarianship
Issue of 2018‒05‒27
two papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. J Community Health. 2018 May 19.
    Basch CH, MacLean SA, Romero RA, Ethan D.
      Individuals have a wide range of resources when searching for health topics. The aim of this research was twofold: (1) to identify and assess the resources college students use when exercising health information seeking behavior (HISB); and (2) to examine perceptions and behaviors regarding adoption of online tools. A questionnaire was developed to assess HISB in a sample of college students. Items pertaining to HISB were adapted from a Health Information National Trends Survey with permission from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. During Spring 2018, 258 students in 9 sections of a personal health class at a public university in NJ completed the questionnaire. Students were most likely to often or always use the Internet for health information (n = 74%) over other sources. Females were more likely to use the Internet for health information (p = .030), to consult a health or medical professional (p = .042) and to confirm the health information they find with a health or medical professional (p = .028). Females also reported spending significantly more time on social media (mean 4.96 h/day) compared to males (4.00 h/day, p = .041). Non-white students were significantly more likely to often use the Internet to find health information (p = .039), while white students reported spending significantly less time on the Internet (p < .001) and on social media (p < .001). Future research is needed to understand motivating factors for HISB, and to tailor interventions accordingly to assure that college students who exhibit HISB have appropriate levels of e-health literacy.
    Keywords:  College students; Health information; Information seeking behavior; Internet