Previous research has identified disparities in seeking and using web-based health information to inform health-related behaviors. Relatively few studies however have examined the correlations between web-based health information seeking and use based on race, gender, age, and the presence of chronic health conditions.
In this study, we identify factors associated with seeking and using web-based health information among a uniquely vulnerable and intersectional populationmiddle-aged and older (40 years and older) African American and Hispanic men living with one or more chronic conditions.
Survey responses were collected from a purposive sample of African American and Hispanic men using Qualtrics web-based survey management software. To qualify for inclusion in the study, respondents had to identify as African American or Hispanic men, report having at least one chronic condition, and be aged 40 years and older. A series of binary logistic regression models was created using backward elimination. Statistical significance was determined at P>.05 for all analyses.
Web-based health information seeking among African American and Hispanic men is a function of education, the presence of multiple chronic conditions, frustration with health care providers, internet use, and the perceived reliability of web-based health information. The use of web-based health information to inform interactions with health care providers was more common among African American and Hispanic men, who rated their health as relatively good, perceived barriers to care, used technology regularly, and took more daily medications.
Understanding the factors that influence African American and Hispanic men seeking web-based health information may help improve the care and treatment of chronic conditions. African American and Hispanic men seek web-based health information as a substitute for routine care and to inform their discussions with health care providers.