Factors influencing online health information seeking behavior among patients in Kwahu West Municipal, Nkawkaw, Ghana

Richmond Dery Nangsangna, Frances da-Costa Vroom

Abstract


Over the years, there has been a lot of transformation in the way health care is delivered and how individuals access health. Rapid growth in technology has been attributed to the advancement. The internet has played a key role in the delivery of health care and serves currently as a huge source of health information to individuals regardless of their location, language or time.

This cross sectional study was conducted in the Kwahu West Municipal to determine factors influencing online health information seeking behaviors among patients. Three hospitals in the municipality were purposively selected for the study.  Outpatients attending these facilities were systematically selected. Data was collected using structured interviewer administered questionnaire.

The study findings revealed that internet usage rate among patients was 85.8%. However, only 35.7% of patients ever used the internet to access health information. Sex, education and average monthly income were significant factors associated with online health information seeking. The study also showed that, computer and internet experience factors increased the probability of using internet for health information. After adjusting for confounding factors, being employed, earning higher income and owning computer were positive predictors of online health information seeking.

It is important to explore other means of reducing the disparity in information access by improving skill and health literacy among the low social class who cannot afford internet ready devices. Health care providers should recognize that patients are using the internet for health information and should be prepared to assist and promote internet user skills among their patients.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v11i2.10141



Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org