Telemed J E Health - E-health use in african american internet users: can new tools address old disparities?


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JECTIVE: Web-based health information may be of particular value among the African American population due to its potential to reduce communication inequalities and empower minority groups. This study explores predictors of e-health behaviors and activities for African American Internet users.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used the 2010 Pew Internet and American Life Health Tracking Survey to examine sociodemographic and health status predictors of e-health use behaviors among African Americans. E-health use behaviors included searching for e-health information, conducting interactive health-related activities, and tracking health information online.RESULTS: In the African American subsample, 55% (n=395) were at least "occasional" Internet users. Our model suggests that searching for health information online was positively associated with being helped/knowing someone helped by online information (odds ratio [OR]=5.169) and negatively associated with lower income (OR=0.312). Interactive health activities were associated with having a college education (OR=3.264), being 65 years of age or older (OR=0.188), having a family member living with chronic conditions (OR=2.191), having a recent medical crisis (OR=2.863), and being helped/knowing someone helped by online information (OR=8.335). E-tracking behaviors were significantly stronger among African Americans who had health insurance (OR=3.907), were helped/knowing someone helped by online information (OR=4.931), and were social media users (OR=4.799).CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest significant differences in e-health information-seeking behaviors among African American Internet users-these differences are mostly related to personal and family health concerns and experiences. Targeted online e-health resources and interventions can educate and empower a significant subset of the population.

Resumo Limpo

jectiv webbas health inform may particular valu among african american popul due potenti reduc communic inequ empow minor group studi explor predictor ehealth behavior activ african american internet usersmateri method use pew internet american life health track survey examin sociodemograph health status predictor ehealth use behavior among african american ehealth use behavior includ search ehealth inform conduct interact healthrel activ track health inform onlineresult african american subsampl n least occasion internet user model suggest search health inform onlin posit associ helpedknow someon help onlin inform odd ratio negat associ lower incom interact health activ associ colleg educ year age older famili member live chronic condit recent medic crisi helpedknow someon help onlin inform etrack behavior signific stronger among african american health insur helpedknow someon help onlin inform social media user orconclus find suggest signific differ ehealth informationseek behavior among african american internet usersthes differ most relat person famili health concern experi target onlin ehealth resourc intervent can educ empow signific subset popul

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