HEALTH INFORMATION LITERACY, INFORMATION NEEDS AND INFORMATION SEEKING BEHAVIORS AMONG MOTHERS WITH CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE: A CASE STUDY OF CHILENJE LEVEL ONE HOSPITAL IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA
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The main aim of this study was to investigate the health information literacy, information needs and information seeking behavior of mothers with children under the age of five. Chilenje Township of Lusaka, Zambia was used as a case study. The specific objectives of the study were to: ascertain the extent to which mothers with children under the age of five were aware of the health information they needed; identify the sources of health information mothers with children under the age of five consult and the frequency of search; establish the relationship between a child`s characteristics and mother`s health information needs; and ascertain the challenges mothers with children under the age of five face to access health information. The study included 26 respondents consisting of 20 mothers and 6 health key informants that work at the children’s department of Chilenje level 1 Hospital. Findings of the study showed that mothers with children under the age of five were to a greater extent aware of the health information they needed. Health information on children’s vaccination/ immunization; weight; nutrition and diet/food preparation; deworming; common illnesses; dental health; umbilical cord care; breastfeeding and formula feeding methods; medicines; development of speech; and clothing were the mother’s most needed health information. According to the study results, Healthcare providers e.g. hospital and clinics; the Internet (including WhattsApp, Facebook); mass media (i.e. radio, television, newspapers); community health workers; friends and relatives; mobile phones; and printed books and brochures were the most used sources of health information by mothers. Further, findings on mothers’ frequency of search for health information revealed that the source they used, the child condition and the age of the child determined their frequency to look for health information. The study also revealed that age, gender, weight, health fitness and height influenced the type of health information that mothers sought. The study finally showed misinformation, language barrier, cost, poor information literacy skills, and limited time as the main challenges faced by mothers in their search for health information. The study recommends that there is need for health information providers to meet the health information needs of mothers by providing them with information in the right format using appropriate channels.
International Journal of Research Publication and Reviews
health information needs
health information seeking behavior
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