The relationship between internet use, self-efficacy, health literacy and health
Watson, Linda Alane
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Over the last few years, Internet use has expanded to the older adult population, according to the Pew Internet Project, 53% of adults aged 65 and over are now online (2012). Once online, studies have suggested that seeking out health information is one of the most popular online activities for adults. The purpose of this study was to better understand the potential of older adults improving their health literacy through the gathering of Internet-based health information. This project was designed to evaluate the relationship between Internet use, Internet self-efficacy, health literacy, and health status among adults aged 50 years and older. One hundred and eighty three men and women (mean age = 75.01 plus/minus 10.53 yrs) were recruited from local community programs, senior centers, and retirement communities. Participants completed five questionnaires. Based on results participants were separated into two groups: health literate and low health literate. There was no difference between the groups and the level of health literacy and self-reported health. There was a trend for the health literate participants to report greater self-rated health. The largest differences were observed for physical and emotional limitations. Health literate participants achieved a higher level of education. Results suggest that regardless of level of health literacy, the older adults in this sample had similar experience with computer/Internet use and ownership. With respect to self-efficacy, differences were noted for the variable addressing the gathering of information, but none of the other variables.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professionals, Dept. of Public Health Sciences