Individuals with health anxiety often relieve their health concerns by online health information seeking and utilization, which may instead result in excessive and irrational information behaviors. Therefore, it is crucial to explore how online health information behaviors are triggered by health anxiety. From the perspective of information need, this study investigates the transition mechanisms from health anxiety to online health information seeking and utilization. We collected data by an online survey to examine our model. The results show that health anxiety has a positive effect on the fear of missing (FoMO), which can further influence the information need, and ultimately motivate information seeking and utilization. Moreover, tolerance for uncertainty can weaken the causal chain from health anxiety, to FoMO, and then to information need, and finally to information seeking and utilization. This study advances understanding on the complex mechanisms driving health anxious individuals’ information behaviors and offers some practical implications.


Paper Number 1136; Track Healthcare; Complete Paper


When commenting on articles, please be friendly, welcoming, respectful and abide by the AIS eLibrary Discussion Thread Code of Conduct posted here.