Health information-seeking and perceptions of website credibility: Examining Web-use orientation, message characteristics, and structural features of websites

Stephen A. Rains, Carolyn Donnerstein Karmikel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study reported here examined perceptions of health website credibility during the process of acquiring health information using the World Wide Web. The relationships between perceptions of website credibility and both message characteristics (e.g., statistics, testimonials) and structural features of health websites (e.g., privacy policy statement, third-party endorsements) were assessed. Additionally, one's Web-use orientation (i.e., searching or surfing) was evaluated as a moderator of the preceding relationships. The results showed a positive relationship between the presence of structural features and perceptions of website credibility as well as a positive relationship between the presence of message characteristics and attitudes about the health topic. Although Web-use orientation moderated the relationship between message characteristics and perceptions of website credibility, the nature of this relationship was inconsistent with study predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-553
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

Keywords

  • Information-seeking
  • Internet
  • Website credibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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