HumanInsight The Relation Between eHealth Literacy and Health-Related Behaviors: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
J Med Internet Res. 2023 Jan 30;25:e40778. doi: 10.2196/40778.
BACKGROUND: With widespread use of the internet and mobile devices, many people have gained improved access to health-related information online for health promotion and disease management. As the health information acquired online can affect health-related behaviors, health care providers need to take into account how each individual's online health literacy (eHealth literacy) can affect health-related behaviors.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether an individual's level of eHealth literacy affects actual health-related behaviors, the correlation between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors was identified in an integrated manner through a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.
METHODS: The MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane, KoreaMed, and Research Information Sharing Service databases were systematically searched for studies published up to March 19, 2021, which suggested the relationship between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors. Studies were eligible if they were conducted with the general population, presented eHealth literacy according to validated tools, used no specific control condition, and measured health-related behaviors as the outcomes. A meta-analysis was performed on the studies that could be quantitatively synthesized using a random effect model. A pooled correlation coefficient was generated by integrating the correlation coefficients, and the risk of bias was assessed using the modified Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
RESULTS: Among 1922 eHealth literacy-related papers, 29 studies suggesting an association between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors were included. All retrieved studies were cross-sectional studies, and most of them used the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) as a measurement tool for eHealth literacy. Of the 29 studies, 22 presented positive associations between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors. The meta-analysis was performed on 14 studies that presented the correlation coefficient for the relationship between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors. When the meta-analysis was conducted by age, morbidity status, and type of health-related behavior, the pooled correlation coefficients were 0.37 (95% CI 0.29-0.44) for older adults (aged ≥65 years), 0.28 (95% CI 0.17-0.39) for individuals with diseases, and 0.36 (95% CI 0.27-0.41) for health-promoting behavior. The overall estimate of the correlation between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors was 0.31 (95% CI 0.25-0.34), which indicated a moderate correlation between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results of a positive correlation between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors indicate that eHealth literacy can be a mediator in the process by which health-related information leads to changes in health-related behaviors. Larger-scale studies with stronger validity are needed to evaluate the detailed relationship between the proficiency level of eHealth literacy and health-related behaviors for health promotion in the future.
PMID:36716080 | DOI:10.2196/40778
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