Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Which approaches and methods are most appropriate for exploring health information behaviour #ecil2018

Marianne Paimre from Tallinn University stated that, according to her literature review, improving public health relies on a better understanding of patterns of online health information searching behaviour. This presentation focused on a study of the methods previously used to study online health information behaviour, which has been studied in many fields. 70 journal papers formed the corpus for the study. Research in this field has been multidimensional and complex. Quantitative studies made up 39%, and relied on big data sets collected at national level, online survey was the most popular data collection method. Qualitative studies focused on assessing people’s logic, beliefs and deep motives for searching for health information, and their values, skills and difficulties in searching. Interviews were the most popular data collection method. The drawback often noted was the inability to make generalisations to a wider population based on the small sample, even though they generated deep insight. Mixed methods designs enabled researchers to explore the object in a multidimensional settting and explore complexity. Meta analysis studies systematically reviewed the existing research. Quantitative research was useful for establishing main trends and look at the influence of socioeconomic factors, whereas qualitative studies provide deeper insight into information practices.

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