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Title:An exploratory study of users' preferences and use of sources for seeking health information
Author(s):Zhang, Yan
Subject(s):Information behavior
Information Resources
Web 2.0
Social media
Consumer health informatics
Abstract:Studies have surveyed college students’ use of health information sources. But still little is known about the cognitive processes involved in their source evaluation and selection. To explore this topic, we conducted in-depth interviews with twenty students about their use of sources for specific health-related incidents in their lives. The results suggested that search engines, health websites, doctors, and parents were the most important sources, while social media and libraries were the least important ones. The participants cared about the quality and accessibility of information, but also inclined to use sources that they are familiar and comfortable with, sources that match their interests, or sources that are personal and engaging. In actual information seeking, some participants relied only on search engines, while more used multiple sources and involved family, friends, or doctors in the process. The results’ implications to the design of health websites and health education programs were discussed.
Issue Date:2013-02
Citation Info:Zhang, Y. (2013). An exploratory study of users’ preferences and use of sources for seeking health information. iConference 2013 Proceedings (pp. 38-49). doi:10.9776/13130
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Rights Information:Copyright © 2013 is held by the authors. Copyright permissions, when appropriate, must be obtained directly from the author.
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-01-28

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