Health information seeking and the world wide web: An uncertainty management perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Uncertainty management theory was applied in the present study to offer one theoretical explanation for how individuals use the World Wide Web to acquire health information and to help better understand the implications of the Web for information seeking. The diversity of information sources available on the Web and potential to exert some control over the depth and breadth of one's information-acquisition effort is argued to facilitate uncertainty management. A total of 538 respondents completed a questionnaire about their uncertainty related to cancer prevention and information-seeking behavior. Consistent with study predictions, use of the Web for information seeking interacted with respondents' desired level of uncertainty to predict their actual level of uncertainty about cancer prevention. The results offer evidence that respondents who used the Web to search for cancer information were better able than were respondents who did not seek information to achieve a level of uncertainty commensurate with the level of uncertainty they desired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1307
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume19
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2014

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health information
World Wide Web
Internet
Uncertainty
Health
uncertainty
management
cancer
Information Seeking Behavior
Neoplasms
information-seeking behavior
source of information
Surveys and Questionnaires
questionnaire
evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Communication
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Health information seeking and the world wide web : An uncertainty management perspective. / Rains, Stephen A.

In: Journal of Health Communication, Vol. 19, No. 11, 30.11.2014, p. 1296-1307.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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