196916 Online health information utilization among Chinese younger versus older adults

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Su-I. Hou, DrPH, CPH, RN , Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Peng-Hsi Hou, PhD , Fortune Information Systems Corp. (FIS), Taichung, Taiwan
Ho-Shong Hou, PhD , Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan (R.O.C.), Taipei, Taiwan
Peng-Hui Beau Hou, MS , Fotosoft Institute of Photography, Taipei, Taiwan
Background: The growth of the Internet in the last decade has changed the way we live. E-delivery of health information has become an irreversible trend and an important new way of disseminating health information. Purpose: This study aims to examine computer and online health information utilization among Chinese younger (less than 40 years old) versus older (40 years and older) adults. Methods: An eHealth pilot study was conducted in 2008 in Taiwan. Study participants, 40 years and older, were recruited from selected government workplaces in Taiwan. A separate sample of younger adults (less than 40 years old) with similar educational levels were also recruited to serve as a comparison group. Results: A total of 208 participants completed the survey. About 61% were females; majority had college education or higher (76%); and 60% were 40 years and older. Almost everyone has ever gone online or used email, with about half first did so within the past 12 months. Overall, the majority of the study participants reported having used the Internet to look for health information (90.5%), discussed it with others (60.0%) and with doctors (49.0%), changed their own behavior (77.3%) or made treatment related decision (60.6%) because of online health information, regardless of age groups. Data showed younger participants, however, went online more often (p=.01), spend more time online (p<.01), yet rated online health information as less useful (p<.01). In addition, the younger's were more likely to agree the Internet “is important part of their lives that wouldn't want to do without” (83.1% vs. 57.5%; p<.01). Conclusion: This study provides valuable data about online health information utilization. Study results have implication on using eHealth communication among Chinese older adults.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe and compare the online health information utilization among younger versus older Chinese adults. 2. Describe views towards Internet and email utilization among younger versus older Chinese adults. 3. Discuss the implication of study findings on using eHealth communication among Chinese older adults.

Keywords: Communication Technology, Asian and Pacific Islander

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm the PI of this study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.