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The role of health literacy and social networks in arthritis patients' health information-seeking behavior : a qualitative study

Ellis, Janette, Mullan, Judy, Worsley, Anthony and Pai, Nagesh 2012, The role of health literacy and social networks in arthritis patients' health information-seeking behavior : a qualitative study, International journal of family medicine, vol. 2012, pp. 1-6.

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Title The role of health literacy and social networks in arthritis patients' health information-seeking behavior : a qualitative study
Author(s) Ellis, Janette
Mullan, Judy
Worsley, Anthony
Pai, Nagesh
Journal name International journal of family medicine
Volume number 2012
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Place of publication New York, N. Y.
Publication date 2012-09-10
ISSN 2090-2042
2090-2050
Keyword(s) health literacy
arthritis
health information-seeking behaviour
health professionals
Summary Background. Patients engage in health information-seeking behaviour to maintain their wellbeing and to manage chronic diseases such as arthritis. Health literacy allows patients to understand available treatments and to critically appraise information they obtain from a wide range of sources.

Aims. To explore how arthritis patients' health literacy affects engagement in arthritis-focused health information-seeking behaviour and the selection of sources of health information available through their informal social network.

Methods. An exploratory, qualitative study consisting of one-on-one semi-structured interviews. Twenty participants with arthritis were recruited from community organizations. The interviews were designed to elicit participants' understanding about their arthritis and arthritis medication and to determine how the participants' health literacy informed selection of where they found information about their arthritis and pain medication.

Results. Participants with low health literacy were less likely to be engaged with health information-seeking behaviour. Participants with intermediate health literacy were more likely to source arthritis-focused health information from newspapers, television, and within their informal social network. Those with high health literacy sourced information from the internet and specialist health sources and were providers of information within their informal social network.

Conclusion. Health professionals need to be aware that levels of engagement in health information-seeking behaviour and sources of arthritis-focused health information may be related to their patients' health literacy.
Notes This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
Socio Economic Objective 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Janette Ellis et al.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30050147

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.