Trends in Health Information-Seeking Behaviour in the U.S. Foreign-Born Population Based on the Health Information National Trends Survey, 2005-2014

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Introduction. This study investigated trends in the health information-seeking behaviour of the U.S. foreign-born population over a ten-year period and examined whether health information disparities between this population and native-born citizens have decreased.

Method. Data were collected from six iterations of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS): HINTS 2 (2005), HINTS 3 (2007), HINTS 4 Cycle 1 (2011), Cycle 2 (2012), Cycle 3 (2013), and Cycle 4 (2014).

Analysis. The percentage distribution of all variables across the foreign-born and native-born populations was examined using Chi/squared analysis.

Results. Increasing rates of health information-seeking in foreign-born populations as well as Internet use for health information-seeking were observed over the ten-year period. However, compared with the U.S.-born population, the foreign-born population was consistently less likely to seek health information or to use the Internet as its first source for health information and had more difficulty understanding found information.

Conclusion. Since the foreign-born population exhibits persistent disparities in accessing and using health information, efforts should be focused on enhancing the accessibility of online health information to this population and improving health information literacy to facilitate use of this information.

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Information Research, v. 22, issue 3, art. 760