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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health



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HOME > J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 41(4); 2008 > Article
English Abstract Factors Affecting Comsumer's Usage of Health Information on the Internet.
Jong Hyock Park, Jin Seok Lee, Hyejung Jang, Yoon Kim
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2008;41(4):241-248
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1National Cancer Center, Korea.
2Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
3Department of Health Services Management, Kyung Hee University College of Business Administration, Korea.
4Institute of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National Uniersity Medical Research Center, Korea.

The purpose of the study was to identify a gap between consumer characteristics and utilization of health information on the Internet. METHODS: A telephone survey of nationally representative samples was conducted using structured questionnaires, and 1,000 of the 1,189 responses obtained were included in our analysis. The following variables were included in the analysis as potential predictors of health information use on the Internet: predisposing factors such as gender, age, and education status; enabling factors such as region and monthly household income; consumer need for health information; and attitude to health. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between utilization rate and the potential predictors. RESULTS: Thirty-nine percent of consumers had obtained health information on the Internet over a one-year period. The utilization rates were higher for consumers who were young, educated, worked in the office setting, had higher incomes, wanted health information, and were able to use the Internet. The utilization rate was 5.35 times higher in the younger group (20-30 years) than in the elderly group (95% CI=2.21-12.97); 2.21 times higher for office workers than for manual workers (95% CI=1.16-4.20); 3.61 times higher for college graduates than for middle school graduates and below (95% CI=1.07-11.59); 1.99 times higher for people with monthly household incomes over 3,000,000 won than for those with monthly household incomes below 1,500,000 won (95% CI=1.01-3.92). CONCLUSIONS: There needs to be a paradigm shift, with consideration of not only Internet accessibility in the digital age, but also consumer ability and attitudes toward utilization of health information.

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