Health information seeking behaviour of women in a web-based environment: A survey of literature
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The exponential growth of the World Wide Web has been the catalyst for an information revolution. Amid this growth, there has been the obvious benefits to individuals of being able to access information on any given topic from anywhere in the world. Similarly, there has been an incredible growth in health related information on the Web. The growth in health-related information has been so fast and their content so expansive that it is virtually impossible not to find information on any type of illness, regardless of the severity or rareness. It is well known that many individuals with health problems turn to the Web to seek out relevant health information to improve their lives. Notwithstanding the fact that Web-based health information search has turn out to be a common activity for persons with innumerable health concerns, limited attention has been paid to ascertain how women seek Web-based health information. Hence the need for a study to examine how women seek health information in a Web-based environment. This paper is based on a study that investigated the health information seeking behavior of women through a desk research. We examined various literatures that revealed regional and gender gaps in internet accessibility and usage for health information. The study further revealed a number of factors that motivate women to seek Web based health information and the Web-based sources consulted for health information. The paper concludes by recommending that more gender sensitive studies should be undertaken on health information seeking behavior particularly in the African context.
SubjectOnline health information seeking
World Wide Web