Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Geography

Abstract

This is an exploratory study that described the prevalence and patterns of internet health information seeking in Hong Kong. A convenient sample of 443 individuals completed the questionnaires. Only 44% (N = 195) of the respondents were identified as health surfers. Health surfers tended to be younger females (age group 20–29) and have higher education. Digital divide was evident by age and education. Professional health sites (78.0%) were the majority sites visited. Health topics searched ranged from women’s/men’s health to chronic diseases such as heart diseases, cancer and diabetes. Over 60% considered online health information useful, however, about 44% were uncertain about the reliability of this information. The major criteria for health websites were information from professionals and ease of understanding. The results underline the need for bridging the digital divide and the potential for pro-active use of the internet for health promotion.

Publication Year

2010

Journal Title

Journal of Medical Systems

Volume number

34

Issue number

2

Publisher

Springer Netherlands

First Page (page number)

147

Last Page (page number)

153

Referreed

1

DOI

10.1007/s10916-008-9226-9

ISSN (print)

0148-5598

Link to Publisher’s Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10916-008-9226-9

Keywords

Health information seeking, Hong Kong, Internet, Prevalence

Included in

Geography Commons

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