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ERIC Number: EJ931985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1052-2891
The Role of the Adult Educator in Helping Learners Access and Select Quality Health Information on the Internet
Wright, Melissa; Grabowsky, Adelia
New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, n130 p79-88 Sum 2011
In 2002, 45 percent of American adults had used the Internet to search for health information. However, according to a 2009 report, the number had increased to 71 percent of adults ages thirty to forty-nine and 46 percent of those 50 and older who had sought health information online. While the number of adults using the Internet to search for health information is great, the level of health literacy is not. Research has shown that health literacy, which may be defined as "the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions," is a greater predictor of a person's health than his/her race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or level of education. While most health care materials are written at the tenth-grade level or above, many Americans read at an eighth- to ninth-grade level, with 20 percent reading at or below the fifth-grade level. In addition, research on information literacy, "the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information," has shown that people often have a difficult time evaluating the quality and accuracy of the information they find. Given the difficulty that many Americans have with reading and evaluating health information, seeking health information on the Internet can be difficult, confusing, and even dangerous. This chapter focuses on the role of the adult educator in helping learners access and select quality health information on the Internet. It offers guidelines for selecting and evaluating health care information on the Internet and provides examples of quality online health information sources.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A