You are here

Interacting with Health Information for Self-Care

Title: Interacting with Health Information for Self-Care: An Exploratory Study of Undergraduate Students' Health Information Literacy.
Name(s): Ma, Jinxuan, author
Latham, Don, professor directing dissertation
Glueckauf, Robert, university representative
Gross, Melissa, committee member
Lustria, Mia Liza A., committee member
School of Library and Information Studies, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Developing effective self-care behaviors in college is an important factor affecting undergraduate students' academic achievement and overall adult health outcomes. To address the gap in both research and practice between information literacy and health education targeting undergraduate students, this study explores to what extent undergraduates demonstrate health information literacy (HIL) competency in their health information seeking and use for self-care. It employs Dervin's sense-making theory as a framework, which characterizes human information seeking and use as situation-gap-bridge-outcome occurring through different contexts within time and space. A three-phase design for data collection was used: 1) a group-administered survey, 2) a semi-structured interview, and 3) a follow-up observational study of online health information searches using think-aloud protocols. The study results provide a better understanding of how students' HIL competency shapes their health information-seeking behaviors and affects their self-care activities. Given that health information literacy is a multifaceted integrated skill set, contextual factors, such as information environment, health issues, and self-care situations, would not likely change the fundamental skill base that comprises HIL, but these different situations often demand different levels of HIL knowledge and skills. Many students in the study demonstrated insufficient HIL knowledge and skills in some specific contexts of seeking and using health information for self-care. This insufficiency can compromise the extent and usefulness of their health information seeking. Some of them were unaware of their insufficiency based on the inconsistency between their perceived and actual HIL competency as demonstrated in the interview and the observational study. Therefore, the study contributes both theoretical and practical knowledge to the currently limited body of research on undergraduate students' health information-seeking behaviors and health information literacy. Its results present important insights for the future development of more effective college HIL intervention strategies that can help in addressing current or potential student public health issues. Moreover, the results are useful to inform the development of an effective HIL measurement instrument without overemphasizing one or two components of the HIL skill set, such as educational level or computer skills.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-8836 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the School of Information in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2014.
Date of Defense: March 20, 2014.
Keywords: Consumer Health Information, Health Information Literacy Competency, health Information seeking behavior, Health Literacy, Information Literacy, Self-Care
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Don Latham, Professor Directing Dissertation; Robert Glueckauf, University Representative; Melissa Gross, Committee Member; Mia Liza A. Lustria, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Library science
Information science
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Ma, J. (2014). Interacting with Health Information for Self-Care: An Exploratory Study of Undergraduate Students' Health Information Literacy. Retrieved from