Information Sources and the Health Information-Seeking Process: An Application and Extension of Channel Complementarity Theory

Erin K. Ruppel, Stephen A. Rains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contemporary information seekers can acquire health information from an unprecedented variety of sources. The reported study applied and extended channel complementarity theory to explain the use of multiple information sources in the health-information-seeking process. Channel complementarity was extended to consider four characteristics (i.e., access to medical expertise, tailorability, anonymity, and convenience) of health-information sources. The information-seeking behavior of 3,392 respondents from the 2007-2008 Health Information National Trends Survey was analyzed to test study hypotheses. Results indicate that, sources were used complementarily based on tailorability and anonymity during health-information sources. Additionally, the likelihood of using complementary sources based on all four characteristics changed during the search process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-405
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume79
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

Keywords

  • Channel Complementarity Theory
  • Health Communication
  • Information Seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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