Description: eHealth is commonly defined as health services and information provided through the Internet and related technologies. Health educators have taken advantage of Internet and social media venues to disseminate health information essential to health risk management, disease prevention, and disease management and did not have a validated theoretical model to explain their experiences. The goal of this study was to create and test an integrated model of eHealth communication specific to 18-30 year old college students based on five research questions that identified and confirmed the factors most highly correlated with the presentation of health information on Internet or social media venues that improve eHealth literacy and provoke eHealth behavioral intention among college students. A sample of over 1400 18-30 year old college students was surveyed about their general and health information related use of the Internet and social media. As a result of exploratory factor analysis and subsequent structural equation modeling, the proposed theoretical model was revised and tested for statistical power. Two revised integrative models of eHealth communication, one for Internet and one for social media, were developed and validated. The model for social media shows statistically significant paths throughout the model; however, the model for the Internet reveals that the path between two constructs and Online Health Behavior are not statistically significant and is worthy of further examination. This study has important practical implications for eHealth educators, organizations dedicated to informing the public about specific diseases or health promotion techniques, health practitioners seeking improved strategies for effective eHealth message design, and to health information professionals.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Prybutok, Gayle