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J Health Psychol. 2017 Feb 1:1359105317695429. doi: 10.1177/1359105317695429. [Epub ahead of print]

The digital divide: Examining socio-demographic factors associated with health literacy, access and use of internet to seek health information.

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Keele University, UK.


This article aims to examine the socio-demographic characteristics associated with access and use of Internet for health-related purposes and its relationship with health literacy. Data were drawn from a health literacy survey ( Nā€‰=ā€‰1046) and analysed using logistic regression. Results show a strong association between health literacy, internet access and use. Socio-demographic characteristics particularly age, education, income, perceived health and social isolation also predict internet access. Thus, in addition to widening access, the movement towards digitisation of health information and services should also consider digital skills development to enable people to utilise digital technology more effectively, especially among traditionally hard-to-reach communities.


digital divide; health literacy; internet access; internet use; logistic; regression; socio-demographic variables


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