- What Factors Influence the Use of the Public Library for Health Information?.
- Baeg, Jung Hoon, Burnett, Kathleen M. (Kathleen Marie), Glueckauf, Robert L., Lustria, Mia Liza A., Oh, Sanghee, Florida State University, College of Communication and Information, School of Information
The purpose of this study is to understand public library users' health information seeking behaviors and what factors may influence the intention of an individual to use the public library as their health information resource. This study used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as the theoretical framework, which provided essential motivation and behavior factors, including Attitude toward seeking health information at the public library (ATT), Subjective Norm (SN), and Perceived Behavior...
Show moreThe purpose of this study is to understand public library users' health information seeking behaviors and what factors may influence the intention of an individual to use the public library as their health information resource. This study used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as the theoretical framework, which provided essential motivation and behavior factors, including Attitude toward seeking health information at the public library (ATT), Subjective Norm (SN), and Perceived Behavior Control (PBC). This study expanded on TPB to add the perceptions of the quality of health information and an individual's health literacy level. These factors may indicate an individual's intention to use the public library as a primary health information source. In this study, five hypotheses were measured and analyzed. Attitude (H1), Subjective Norm (H2), Perceived Behavior Control (H3), Perception of health information quality (H4), and Health literacy (H5) will independently influence the behavior intention to use the public library for health information. After IRB approval, a pilot study was conducted to determine the reliability and validity of the survey questions. The survey consisted of three parts: (1) questions about public library users' behavior; (2) measurement of health information seeking behavior, questions related to the TPB variables and questions about the perception of the quality of health information, and health literacy; and (3) demographic information. A purposive sampling method was used to select participants at public libraries. Based upon a population and racial balance, residents of five counties in Florida were selected to participate in a print survey that was administered at public libraries. A total of 247 public library users participated in this study. There were 83 males (34%) and 164 females (66%). Participants' ages ranged from 18 to 82 years old with an average age of 42. The majority of participants were non-Hispanic White (n=117, 44%) and non-Hispanic Black (n=94, 35%). That reflects the racial composition of the five counties. Hispanic (n=13, 5%) and Asian (n=15, 6%) were followed. Structural Equation Modeling with Mplus (version 5) was used to analyze the five hypotheses. The construct and validation of the SEM model showed the adequacy of the model. Goodness-Fix-Index, such as Comparative Fit Index (CFI), and Normed Fit Index (NFI) showed higher than .90. These GFI close to 1 indicated a good fit to the data. Badness-Fit-Index (BFI), such as Root Mean Square Error Approximation (RMSEA =.07), and Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR= .04) indicate this instrument is a good fit. Overall two hypotheses were accepted. Subjective Norm (R2 = .39, p<.01) (H2) and Perceived Behavior Control (R2 = .43, p<.01 (H3) were supported. The Subjective Norm and Perceived Behavior Control influence the intention to use public library as individual's health information sources. This means an individual's family, friend, or co-worker may influence their intention and wiliness to use public library for their health information needs. Public library users also recognize that searching for health information is easy to do and they are confident about using health-related information services at the public library. Therefore, the public library may to promote their health information sources to the community more actively to introduce such resources. This outreach may increase the social aspect of health information at the public library. If more people believe the public library is a good place to seek health information, public library usage will grow.
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