Monday, June 08, 2020

Health Literacy at university level; Information avoidance #AECIST20

Continuing liveblogging notes from the first day of the online conference Information Science Trends: Health Information Behavior, organised by the European Chapter of ASIS&T. Noora Hirvonen gave a presentation based on her ongoing doctoral work, Girls' Positions and Authoritative Information Sources in Finnish Online Discourses on the HPV Vaccine: the abstract is here
Kristin Hocevar and Melissa Anderson (Southern Oregon University in the USA) presented a poster on Teaching Online Health Literacy at the University Level. The library collaborated with the Healthcare Studies programme to develop learning about ehealth, cognitive processing theories and calculating risk; there is information teaching and an assessed project which gets students to find and evaluate information for themselves. This has run twice, the second time (only) with the library input, and evidence was that the students had learnt from the experience.

Gemma Webster and (presenter) Bruce M. Ryan (Napier University, Scotland) had authored a poster on Information avoidance and diabetes: a preliminary empirical study. The focus of this ongoing project is those with type 1 Diabetes. There have been studies on information avoidance, but in the healthcare field the main focus has been information avoidance as regards cancer. The researchers carried out 10 interviews with young adults and 5 health practitioners. Early findings are that healthcare professionals lack the time to support the patients with information. In terms of the young adults with diabetes, findings include going through a period in adolesence where they want to deny the disease; distrust of sources of information and advice; and there is avoidance because future complications (e.g. blindness) are just too depressing. There also seem to be regional differences (even within Scotland) in terms of information and advice available.

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