Health Information-Seeking Behavior, Social Determinants of

Health information-seeking behavior (HISB) refers to individuals' behavior of looking for information on medical or health-related topics. HISB is a purposive behavior, which means individuals actually look for health information, for themselves or for others such as family and friends. This active health information use process makes HISB different from incidental health information use or health information scanning, the process through which individuals incidentally or passively use health information. Traditionally, individuals use interpersonal communication channels (e.g., health care providers, families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers) as well as mass communication channels (e.g., books, newspapers, magazines, radio, and television) to actively look for health information. In the contemporary world the Internet has become an important channel for HISB. Individuals can use both the first-generation Internet (e.g., ...

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