Health Information Needs of Women: A Survey of Literature
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Understanding women’s health information needs is the foundation for developing women-centered health information systems and services. Yet there is no clear understanding as to what constitutes women’s health information needs to inform and shape information provision among them. The main objective of this study was to identify the health information needs of women. Specifically, the study looked at how health information needs are articulated in literature, identified the health information needs of women at global, African and Zambian levels and gaps in literature on health information needs of women. The study considered literature published from 2000 to 2017. To retrieve literature relevant to the aims of the review, both print and electronic materials were consulted. The findings revealed varying ways in which health information needs are conceptualized. The findings also show varied and unique women’s health information needs ranging from disease specific to reproductive health. Major gaps in literature regarding health information needs have also been established including the fact that most of the studies on health information have been done in developed nations, hence there is little understanding on health information needs of women in underdeveloped countries. The paper ends by recommending that researchers should conduct more studies on health information needs of women especially in developing countries and that system designers should develop information systems and services that can address women’s health information needs adequately
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