Electronic Health Information Literacy: An Investigation of the Electronic Health Information Knowledge and Skills of Health Education Majors
Hanik, Bruce Walter
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Health educators are expected to serve as resource of health knowledge and being e-health literate enable health educators to perform that function. However, the e-health literacy level of health education undergraduate students is rarely explored. A systematic literature review was conducted in order to investigate the e-health literacy levels of undergraduate students. The Research Readiness Self-Assessment-health (RRSA-h) was used to measure the ability of health education majors to find and evaluate electronic health information and a Q-study was conducted to investigate student characteristics that distinguish between those with high, middle, and low levels of e-health literacy. A convenience sample of 77 health education majors completed the RRSA-h. A MANOVA revealed that e-health literacy levels differed among classification level [F(4,140) = 2.597, p = .039]. Thirteen health education majors participated in the Q-study. An exploratory factor analysis revealed three types of e-health literate students exist among the majors. The literature revealed that college students have limited ability to find and evaluate electronic health information. The RRSA-h indicated that lower-level college students have less ability to find and evaluate e-health information than upper level students. The Q-study suggested that three types of health education majors exist and could be differentiated by their scores on the RRSA-h. The results of the study have implications for the development of instructional techniques to improve the e-health levels of health education majors. Specifically, the RRSA-h can be used to measure e-health literacy levels among health education majors and learning opportunities can be tailored to improve their e-health literacy levels.
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