Seeking Health Information on Social Media: A Perspective of Trust, Self-Determination, and Social Support

Seeking Health Information on Social Media: A Perspective of Trust, Self-Determination, and Social Support

Yibai Li (Unversity of Scranton, Scranton, PA, USA) and Xuequn Wang (Murdoch University, Perth, Australia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/JOEUC.2018010101
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Abstract

In the past few years, social media has changed the ways that health seekers seek health information. However, despite the tremendous growth of social media applications in the health-care industry, trust is still among the biggest challenges for social media health services in gaining greater acceptance. Drawn from previous literature on self-determination theory, social support, and trust, this study investigates people's intentions to seek health-information on social media. The authors carefully selected a sample from Italy with subjects who already had experience in seeking health information on social media. The empirical results show that informational support, emotional support, and the satisfaction of people's autonomy and relatedness needs play an important role through trust in influencing people's health-information-seeking intentions on social media. This study is among the first to adopt the theories of self-determination, social support, and trust to investigate people's intentions to seek health information on social media.
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Literature Review

Health-information-seeking behaviors are closely related to the behaviors of information searches. Information search activities satisfy individuals’ cognitive and affective needs during processing tasks such as decision-making, problem solving, and knowledge generation (Wilson, 1999). Therefore, information search activities often precede a decision action (e.g., a decision to use a particular health product or service) (Cox, 1967). The primary rationale for searching for information is to alleviate uncertainty about the decision (Hansen, 1972).

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