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Britt, Rebecca Katherine; Collins, William Bart; Wilson, Kari; Linnemeier, Georgiann; Englebert, Andrew Mark (2017)
Publisher: JMIR Publications
Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: eHealth literacy, online health behaviors, Original Paper, eHEALS, college student health

Classified by OpenAIRE into

mesheuropmc: education
ACM Ref: ComputingMilieux_COMPUTERSANDEDUCATION
Background The eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) has been widely adopted by researchers to understand how eHealth literacy can be put into context. eHealth researchers need to know how to promote positive health behavior changes across college students, given the importance of the Internet to acquire and use health information. The American College Health Association identified a set of key health issues that affect college students today. By understanding how eHEALS might be related to college students’ maintenance of their health and their use of online health resources, researchers will be provided with a better understanding of eHealth literacy and its pragmatic implications for health campaigns and future interventions. Objective The goal of the study was to examine what eHEALS reveals about college student health behaviors identified by the American College Health Association. To understand college student current health maintenance and their intentions to maintain their health and use online resources, the theory of planned behavior was used as the theoretical framework for the study. Methods Data were collected via a survey of 422 college students that included the eHEALS measure and questions about health issues based on the recommendations of the American College Health Association. These questions asked about college student current health, subsequent use of online health resources, and their intention to maintain their health and make use of such resources in the future. Results eHEALS was positively and significantly associated with all 8 areas of health issues identified by the American College Health Association for college student current maintenance of health and use of online health resources and for future intention of health maintenance and use of online resources. Key issues that emerged with eHealth literacy were maintaining safe sex practices and seeking out related information, seeking out information on an exercise regime, information on vaccinations, and maintaining a balanced diet. Conclusions These results suggest several areas that may be targeted for future health campaigns toward college students. In addition, eHEALS was found to be a useful instrument for college students in the United States. Lastly, these results point to a need to deliver targeted information to college students, particularly since eHEALS captures literacy based on positively phrased items.
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