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Information Seeking

  • By: Christopher J. McKinley
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Acquiring useful health information is critical to managing individuals' overall well-being and preventing illness. In an environment where health information is more prevalent and arguably more accessible than ever, researchers and health practitioners continue to explore factors that drive individuals to acquire greater health knowledge. In general, information seeking reflects active efforts to obtain information from selected sources. Information seeking behavior is driven by gaps in knowledge, such that the absence of information necessary for satisfying an individual's information needs triggers action. Importantly, information seeking actions are functional ways of coping, often occurring in an environment in which various resources are available. As an individual obtains health information, it may help reduce uncertainty and lead to more effective health management.

Sources of Information Seeking

Information seeking from ...

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