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Health Information-Seeking Behavior, Psychosocial Determinants of

  • By: Lourdes S. Martinez
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Health information-seeking behavior (HISB) refers to any directed efforts to gather information related to health from specific sources. A number of psychosocial determinants help explain when HISB might occur. Increasing understanding of these psychosocial determinants is important because it provides guidance for how to design effective interventions aiming to increase HISB.

Although scholars spanning several fields have examined the idea of HISB, the concept itself has come to be characterized by the type of health information sought and to what extent it is sought, strategies used to obtain the desired information, and sources consulted during searches. In general, HISB is described as an active, deliberate process of obtaining information, and excludes information acquisition from less purposeful pursuits. Several psychosocial determinants, or factors that describe how a ...

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