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Exploring University Students' Online Information Seeking About Prescription Medications

Title: Exploring University Students' Online Information Seeking About Prescription Medications.
Name(s): Alkhalaf, Ahmad Abdullah, author
Lustria, Mia Liza A., professor co-directing dissertation
McDowell, Stephen, professor co-directing dissertation
Iatarola, Patrice, university representative
Rayburn, Jay, committee member
School of Communication, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study explored university students' information seeking behaviors related to prescription medication (PM) information. Specifically, it examined the different sources students use for PM information, their use and perceptions of online sources, the types of PM information they seek, their concerns about, and methods they apply to verify the reliability of the PM information they obtain from the Internet. The study also evaluates the factors influencing students' perceptions and use of online and offline sources of PM information. Results indicate that majority of the participants (57.6%) seek PM-related information on the Internet, mirroring a trend shown in previous studies. This is particularly noteworthy considering increasing concerns about the quality of online health-related information. Despite the availability of different types of sources for PM information, majority of students prefer to consult healthcare experts like doctors (66%) and pharmacists (39%) more than online sources such as non-advertising Internet sources (27.6%) or Internet advertising sources (9.9%). Only a few university students (6.5%) consult social media sources for PM information in spite of the growing popularity of social networking. The most frequently sought PM information related to adverse or side effects of drugs (84%), followed by warnings and precautions (82%), and dosing information (73%). Although influencing factors seem to vary according to the type of source, the most significant predictors of perceived usefulness of sources were perceived credibility and perceived accessibility of the information source. On the other hand, the most significant factors affecting actual use of sources were perceived usefulness and perceived credibility. A great majority of the participants (65%) had concerns about PM information on the Internet and yet 32.3% of these reported that they don't bother to verify the reliability of the information they find online. On the other hand, 35% of the participants expressed no concerns about online PM information and almost half of these participants (45%) reported that they do not bother to verify PM information they find on the Internet. Implications of these results and directions for future research are also discussed.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-8522 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the School of Communication in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2013.
Date of Defense: October 31, 2013.
Keywords: Information seeking, Online, Prescription medications, University students
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Mia Liza A. Lustria, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Stephen McDowell, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Patrice Iatarola, University Representative; Jay Rayburn, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Alkhalaf, A. A. (2013). Exploring University Students' Online Information Seeking About Prescription Medications. Retrieved from