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ERIC Number: EJ946322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1529-1944
E-Health Literacy Competencies among Undergraduate Health Education Students: A Preliminary Study
Hanik, Bruce; Stellefson, Michael
International Electronic Journal of Health Education, v14 p46-58 2011
Background: Because of the widespread access to health information on the Internet, researchers have begun to investigate e-health literacy skills among college students. Preliminary findings indicate that the general population of college students may not have adequate skills to sufficiently search for, locate, and/or evaluate electronic sources of health information. E-health literacy is an important area for health education undergraduate students, but little research has been conducted targeting this population. Objective: To investigate perceived and actual e-health literacy among health education undergraduate majors at a large Southwestern university. Methods: A convenience sample of health education students completed the Research Readiness Self-Assessment-health (RRSA-h), an online instrument designed to assess perceived and actual ability to obtain and evaluate e-health information. Pearson product moment correlations were used to determine associations between perceived and actual e-health literacy. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to determine actual ability to obtain and evaluate e-health information according to current academic standing. Results: Seventy-seven (n = 77) undergraduate students (88% female) reported actual mean e-health literacy test scores (39.3%-50.4%) which were markedly inferior to mean ratings of perceived e-health literacy (75.3%-78.5%). Perceived ability to evaluate e-health information was correlated with actual ability (r = 0.26, P = 0.045), while perceived and actual ability to obtain e-health information was not. Students of advanced academic status (e.g., juniors and seniors), however, reported higher overall e-health literacy than their younger counterparts (F (4,140) = 2.597, p = 0.039). Conclusion: Health education students appear to lack important e-health literacy skills, especially those students who have less academic experience. The field of health education would benefit from including more coursework across professional preparatory degree programs to adequately prepare undergraduate students to use e-health resources. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A