Assessing the Digital Health Literacy Skills of Tween Participants in a School-Library-Based After-School Program

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Credibility assessment, digital health literacy, eHealth literacy, HackHealth, information seeking, internet searching, tweens

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Although young people are increasingly turning to the Internet for health-related information, very little is known about the state of their digital health literacy skills. At the beginning of an after-school program (HackHealth) to assist middle school students (ages 12–15) with their digital health literacy skills, a specially designed Digital Healthy Literacy Assessment Tool (DHLAT) was administered to 19 participants. Results suggest that while tweens are familiar with search engines and have a rudimentary sense of how to use them, they often lack important knowledge and skills needed to be fully digitally health literate. More research is needed to develop more broadly applicable tools for assessing tweens’ digital health literacy skills and to discover additional ways to work with youth to ensure they are equipped with the digital health literacy skills they need to successfully find, understand, assess, manage, and make use of online health information.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, v. 21, issue 1, p. 40-61