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

R. Rosário, M.R.O. Martins, C. Augusto, M.J. Silva, S. Martins, A. Duarte, I. Fronteira, N. Ramos, O. Okan, K. Dadaczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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)E8987-E8998
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

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being

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