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J Health Commun. 2016 Jul;21(7):743-54. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2016.1157652. Epub 2016 May 24.

College Students' Health Information Activities on Facebook: Investigating the Impacts of Health Topic Sensitivity, Information Sources, and Demographics.

Author information

1
a Department of Library and Information Science , The Catholic University of America , Washington , DC , USA.

Abstract

College students tend to lack access to health information. Because social networking sites (SNSs) are popularly adopted by college students, SNSs are considered to be good media channels for college students to obtain health-related information. This study examines the factors that influence college students' health information-seeking and -sharing activities on Facebook. An online survey was distributed to college students between the ages of 18 and 29 to determine intentions pertaining to health information activities according to the factors identified for the study. The factors included both contextual factors (such as health topic sensitivity and health information sources) as well as user factors (such as demographics). Our findings showed that college students are willing to read and post health-related information on Facebook when the health topic is not sensitive. In addition, there are clear differences in preferences between professional sources and personal sources as health information sources. It was found that most user factors, except gender, have no influence on health information activities. The impacts of SNS contexts, awareness of information sources, types of interlocutors, and privacy concerns are further discussed.

PMID:
27220029
DOI:
10.1080/10810730.2016.1157652
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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