The persistence of digital divides in the use of health information: a comparative study in 28 European countries



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Álvarez Gálvez, Javier and Salinas Pérez, José A. and Montagni, Ilaria and Salvador Carulla, Luis (2020) The persistence of digital divides in the use of health information: a comparative study in 28 European countries. International Journal of Public Health . pp. 1-9. ISSN 1661-8556

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Objectives This study aimed to identify which are the socio-demographic factors that can describe health information users’ profiles in Europe and assess which are the factors distinguishing users and non-users and their association with the use of health-related online information.

Methods Data from the Flash Eurobarometer No. 404 (2014) was analysed through a multilevel logistic regression model and a propensity score matching. Results There were significant differences in the use of the Internet for health information according to gender, age, education, long-term illness and health-related knowledge. Thus, some digital divides persisted in the use of health information online.

Results showed that a poor health status was associated with a higher use of the Internet for health purposes only for people having chronic conditions.

Conclusions Findings show a need to increase people’s eHealth literacy, especially for males over 45 years old not suffering from a long-term illness. In order to limit the misuse of poor or untrustworthy health information that might contribute to higher health disparities, special interest should be focused on population socio-demographic characteristics.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Internet; eHealth literacy; Health information; Digital divide; Europe
Subjects:Social sciences > Sociology > Social research
Social sciences > European Union > European Union member states
ID Code:59933
Deposited On:14 Apr 2020 10:21
Last Modified:08 Feb 2021 12:45

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