The Seeking Behaviors of First and Second Year Undergraduate Students When Searching Online for Consumer Health Information

by Good, Larisa V.

Abstract (Summary)
More and more, consumers turn to the Internet to answer information needs. However, since misinformation is prevalent on the Web, there is concern that consumers are relying on health information that lack quality. What becomes apparent is the need to identify and evaluate the sources people find useful when searching online for health information. Fifteen first and second year undergraduates looked at two health-related scenarios then searched the Internet for answers to questions posed. Results indicate a wide difference between the number of websites viewed by first and second years, suggesting a difference in information literacy skills or trust in the information found. Also, a weak but significant, positive correlation between usefulness and authority in one scenario, but not the other, reaffirms the need to flag quality health information on the web, especially for information generating media attention.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Claudia Gollop

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:information needs evaluation health services internet searching


Date of Publication:04/12/2005

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