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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Feb;188(2):580-5.

The relationship of race to women's use of health information resources.

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Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, Women's and Children's Health Policy Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA.



The purpose of this study was to examine, among the general public, the independent effect of race on women's use of health information resources.


A population-based random-digit dialing survey of adult women, aged 18 to 64 years, was conducted between October 1999 and January 2000. Subjects included 509 women (341 white women, 135 black women, and 33 women of other races). The response rate was 66%. The main outcome variable was the use of health information resources (print health or news media, broadcast media, computer resources [Internet], health organizations, organized health events). Logistic regression was used to determine the independent effect of race/ethnicity on the use of different information resources, with an adjustment for age, income, education, and marital status.


After the adjustment for socioeconomic factors, black women had <50% odds of using print news media (odds ratio, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4-0.8), <60% odds of using computer-based resources (odds ratio, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.6), and <70% odds of using health policy organizations (odds ratio, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.2-0.7), compared with white women.


There is a large racial disparity in women's use of health information resources. Traditional sources that are used to provide patient information may not be effective in certain populations.

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