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Dissertation Information for Christine Marton

- Christine Marton

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Toronto (Canada) (2011)

- Chun Wei Choo

- Andrew Clement
- Joanne Gard Marshall
- Donna Eileen Stewart

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Understanding how women seek health information on the Web

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how women seek health information on the Web in relation to information source characteristics, situational characteristics, and socio-demographic characteristics. The Web is conceptualized as three facets that reflect the three main modes of seeking health information on the Web: websites; Web-based bulletin boards and chatrooms; and Web-based listservs and newsgroups. The lack of analytical research on this gendered online activity prompted this study.

The conceptual framework is based primarily on theoretical foundations from two academic disciplines: information science and health sciences. The independent variables in the conceptual framework are health information need, family caregiving, perceived Web self efficacy, perceptions of the quality and accessibility of the Web as a source of health information, and socio-demographic variables. The dependent variable is intensity (frequency) of seeking health information on the Web (FSHIW).

Data was collected from 264 women from November 2000 until April 2001 using a Web survey questionnaire. The participants were predominantly well educated, English-speaking Canadians. A subset of 27 survey respondents completed at least one additional component of this multi-method study. Perception of the reliability of the Web as a source of health information was identified as the key variable influencing frequency of seeking health information on the Web (FSHIW). As well, perceived information source reliability was correlated with two information source characteristics, perceived information source relevance and cognitive access. Two situational variables, health information need and family caregiving, were weakly correlated with FSHIW. Three socio-demographic variables - racial identity, household income, and occupation - affected FSHIW. Qualitative interview data, Web use journals, and recordings of Web use sessions provided a contextualized understanding of the survey data. In particular, they highlighted the importance of situational and affective relevance.

To-date, very few empirical research studies have been conducted on how women seek health information on the Web. This unique multi-method study contributes to a better understanding of women's use of the Web as a source of health information for resolving personal health problems and caring for family members by identifying key variables that affect the frequency of this online behaviour and contextualizing these variables.

MPACT Scores for Christine Marton

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2012-08-19 14:50:45

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Students under Christine Marton

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