Associations between COVID-19-related digital health literacy and online information-seeking behavior among portuguese university students

Rafaela Rosário, Maria do Rosário Fraga Oliveira Martins, C. Augusto, Maria José Silva, Silvana Martins, Ana Duarte, I. Fronteira, Neida Ramos, Orkan Okan, Kevin Dadaczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We aim to evaluate the associations between digital health literacy (DHL) related to COVID-19 and online information-seeking behavior among university students. Methods: A total of 3.084 students (75.7% women), with an average age of 24.2 (SD = 7.5) participated in this cross-sectional study, most of whom (36.5%) were from social sciences and pursued a bachelor’s degree (50.7%). Data on COVID-19-related DHL and online information-seeking behavior were collected using an online questionnaire. Logistic regression models were performed. Results: As the pandemic progressed, participants showed a lower chance of achieving a sufficient DHL (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.6; 0.9). Using search engines more often (e.g., Google) (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.5; 0.9), Wikipedia (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.6; 0.9) and social media (e.g., Facebook) (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.6; 0.9) decreased the likelihood of achieving sufficient DHL related to COVID-19. More frequent use of websites of public bodies (OR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.1; 2.5) increased the odds of reporting sufficient DHL. Conclusion: DHL is associated with university students’ online information-seeking behavior in the time of COVID-19. From a community and public health perspective, programs aiming at improving DHL should be highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8987
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
Volume17
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Digital health literacy
  • COVID-19
  • University students
  • Information-seeking behavior

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