Online Program

Media use, health information seeking, and health literacy for adolescents

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 5:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Jennifer A. Manganello, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Policy, Management, & Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Health literacy impacts one's ability to access and understand health information. However, little is known about health literacy and adolescents, and almost no studies have examined the link between health literacy, media use patterns, and health information seeking preferences. The sample was 272 adolescents ages 12 to 19. Participants completed multiple self-administered surveys, one of which asked about demographics, media use and health information seeking preferences. The Rapid Estimate of Adolescent Literacy in Medicine was used to classify participants into 3 health literacy groups. Those with the highest level of health literacy spent more time using the internet (p=.008) but less time watching TV (p=.002) and playing video games (p<.0001). For the 236 (87%) adolescents who had a cell phone, those in the lowest health literacy group (n=15) were less likely to use cell phone apps (p<.0001), get text messages (p<.0001), and access the internet (p<.0001) and social networking sites (p<.0001). When asked about getting health information, those in the lowest literacy group were more likely to say doctor and less likely to say the internet when asked where they would go first (p<.0001) and about the easiest source (p<.0001). However, when asked about the most credible source, they were less likely to say doctor and more likely to say internet (p<.0001). These results are useful to guide intervention planning and identify the best ways to get health information to adolescents with varying health literacy levels.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how health literacy is associated with health information seeking patterns and media use. Discuss the implications of the findings for interventions. Discuss ideas for future research.

Keyword(s): Health Literacy, Media

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be a presenter on the content that I am responsible for because I am an Associate Professor at the UAlbany School of Public Health and my area of research includes a focus on health literacy and adolescent health as well as media use and health information seeking.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.