The Impact of Individuals' Attitudes Toward Health Websites on Their Perceived Quality of Health Information: An Empirical Study.
Telemed J E Health. 2018 Dec 26;:
Authors: Liu S, Zhang R, Lu X
BACKGROUND: A growing number of patients have increasingly used health websites to search and gather health information. Nevertheless, few studies have focused on the driving factors of internet health information quality from the perspective of psychology. Accordingly, this study explores how the attitudes of individuals toward health websites affect their perceived quality of internet health information through the mediation of seeking behavior on treatment information by employing regulatory focus theory.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We defined six hypotheses that both trust in health websites and expectancy of health websites have a positive impact on emerging and conservative treatment-related online health information seeking; emerging treatment seeking has a negative impact on internet health information quality; and conservative treatment seeking has a positive impact on internet health information quality. Emerging treatment refers to some therapies based on new technologies or research, which is barely used, whereas conservative treatment is more common among the medical field. An online survey involving 336 valid participants was conducted in China. In the research model, all variables were measured using multiple-item scales, and structural equation modeling was employed for testing the hypotheses.
RESULTS: The expectancy of health websites significantly affects conservative and emerging treatment-related online health information seeking, but trust in health websites does not. Moreover, trust in health websites strongly affects the expectancy of health websites, and attitudes toward health websites have a strong effect on conservative treatment-related online information seeking. The effect of conservative treatment-related online health information seeking was considerably larger than that of emerging treatment-related online health information seeking on perceived quality of internet health information.
CONCLUSIONS: From the perspective of health websites operators and public hospitals, conservative treatment and online service might be worth providing and improving. Cooperation between health websites and hospitals might be a good choice.
PMID: 30585763 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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