eHealth literacy during the COVID-19 pandemic: seeking, sharing, suspicion amongst older and younger UK populations
Sykes, S., Wills, J., Trasolini, A., Wood, K. and Frings, D. (2021). eHealth literacy during the COVID-19 pandemic: seeking, sharing, suspicion amongst older and younger UK populations. Health Promotion International. 37 (1), p. daab103. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daab103
|Sykes, S., Wills, J., Trasolini, A., Wood, K. and Frings, D.
The containment of infectious diseases is most successful when at-risk populations have a high level of relevant health literacy (HL). To achieve this both literacy needs and patterns of knowledge sharing must be understood within the context of the disease being studied. It is also important to understand these processes from both offline (HL) and online (eHL) perspectives and amongst demographics with access to different types of information and social capital, and who have different levels of vulnerability. This paper discusses the insights gained over a series of 30 interviews with the UK residents aged either 19-30 years of age or older than 70years—focussing on how they seek, understand, evaluate and convey information about COVID-19 during the current pandemic. Using thematic analysis, we identified themes around motivations to seek information, the information journey, digital choice and engagement, dilemmas and challenges of managing and appraising information, and sharing information. There was little difference in the eHL between the two age groups who both had high levels of education and were sophisticated digital citizens. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights three dominant processes in managing complex and uncertain information: some individuals may suffer from information fatigue but there was no evidence of any impact on their behaviours; others seek and share information across many networks; and there were strikingly high levels of distrust leading to complex processes of meaning-making demanding critical health literacy skills.
|health literacy; eHealth literacy; digital health literacy; pandemics; health information
|Health Promotion International
|37 (1), p. daab103
|Oxford University Press (OUP)
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|01 Jul 2021
|Publication process dates
|16 Jun 2021
|19 Jul 2021
|Accepted author manuscript
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This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Health Promotion International following peer review. The version of record Susie Sykes, Jane Wills, Andrew Trasolini, Kerry Wood, Daniel Frings, eHealth literacy during the COVID-19 pandemic: seeking, sharing, suspicion amongst older and younger UK populations, Health Promotion International, 2021;, daab103, https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daab103 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/heapro/advance-article/doi/10.1093/heapro/d...
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