Online Health Information-Seeking Behaviour among People of African Descent in the United Kingdom: A Qualitative Study

USMAN, Jesse Enebi, CHILDS, Charmaine, ROGERSON, David and KLONIZAKIS, Markos (2024). Online Health Information-Seeking Behaviour among People of African Descent in the United Kingdom: A Qualitative Study. Healthcare, 12 (9): 897.

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Effective public health interventions rely on understanding how individuals access, interpret, and utilise health information. Studying the health information-seeking behaviour (HISB) of a community can provide valuable insights to inform strategies that address community health needs and challenges. This study explored the online HISBs of People of African Descent (PoAD) in the United Kingdom (UK), a demographic that comprises four percent of the UK population and has a 92.8% active Internet usage rate. Data on the HISB were collected from 21 PoAD across various UK regions through online semi-structured interviews before being analysed using reflexive Thematic Analysis (TA). The participants ranged in age from 20 to 70 years and had a mean age of 42.8 (SD ± 11.4). Our analysis of the interview transcripts revealed five key themes: Internet usage and preferences, attitudes toward social media, barriers to seeking health information online, trust in online health information, and cultural influences on online HISB. Our findings indicate a proactive engagement among PoAD in seeking health information online that is underscored by a preference for professional sources over ethnic congruence. However, concerns about misinformation exist, and there are barriers to accessing health information online, including data privacy, unreliable information, and information relevance and overload. We also found that cultural factors and traditional beliefs impact the adoption of Internet-based interventions among PoAD, highlighting the need for culturally sensitive approaches. Preferences regarding the frequency and delivery of online health information varied among participants, with a majority preferring a weekly update. This study emphasises the critical need for accessible, culturally appropriate, secure, and reliable online health resources tailored to the needs and preferences of the PoAD.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: VoR ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for VoR version of this article: ** Peer reviewed: TRUE ** Acknowledgements: The authors thank Sheffield Hallam University for funding this review. **Journal IDs: eissn 2227-9032 **Article IDs: publisher-id: healthcare-12-00897 **History: collection 01-05-2024; published_online 26-04-2024; accepted 22-04-2024; rev-recd 15-04-2024; submitted 28-02-2024
Uncontrolled Keywords: online health, internet-based intervention, culturally tailored interventions, health information-seeking behaviour, cultural sensitivity, people of African descent
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SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 10 May 2024 13:32
Last Modified: 10 May 2024 13:45

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