The primary objective of this research is to obtain insight into information seeking behaviour on the Internet with regard to health information. Theories from two research areas are used to explain the use of the Internet for health information: health behaviour and the adoption and use of new technologies. The data was gathered through a pencil-and-paper questionnaire (N=123), between August and October 2003. All respondents were experienced with using the Internet to seek health information. Using both lineair and logistic regression we investigate how demographic differences (e.g. age, gender, marital status), internet accessibility (e.g. physical, use patterns) and user needs (e.g. general health situation, limitations) influence: 1) the frequency of going online for health information 2) the kind of health information that is sought after, 3) the online sources that people use for health information (e.g. portals, newsletters, various websites). Results show that gender, Internet experience and physical limitations are significant for the frequency of going online. For the kinds of information that people look for only gender has significant influence. Furthermore, the places that people look for health information are influenced significantly by gender and (to lesser extent) whether people have an Internet connection at home. There is also a significant difference between men and women with regard to the number of websites visited and the way they use the gathered information. This investigation shows that men and women seek information differently. As a consequence, different groups are confronted with different risks.
Vermaas, Karianne and Wijngaert, Lidwien van de, "Seeking Health Information on the Internet" (2005). ECIS 2005 Proceedings. 1.