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J Health Commun. 2010;15 Suppl 3:200-15. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.522687.

A path analysis on correlates of consumer trust in online health information: evidence from the health information national trends survey.

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  • 1Department of Communication Studies, University of Rhode Island, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881, USA.


Many people look for health information online, and the Internet is the third most trusted health information source. What implications does this trust have on consumer health? Not much research has been done in this area. This study explored various health-related correlates of consumer trust in online health information, including Internet use for health, self-efficacy belief in managing one's own health, negative emotions, and subjective health status. The 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey data were analyzed. Results showed that controlling for demographics, trust in online health information was directly related to both Internet use for health and the self-efficacy belief, and was indirectly associated with negative emotions; the latter two factors in turn were associated with self-rated health.

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