Health information literacy in everyday life: A study of Finns aged 65-79 years

Kristina Eriksson-Backa, Stefan Ek, Niemela Raimo, Huotari Maija-Leena

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    This article examines the health information literacy of elderly Finns. The results are based on a survey conducted in January 2011. The questionnaire was distributed to 1000 persons that were randomly drawn from the Finnish Population Register. The respondents were aged 65-79 years (mean age 70 years) and lived in the Turku region in Finland. A total of 281 questionnaires (28%) were returned. chi(2) analyses were used to find possible relationships between demographic factors, as well as interest, seeking activity, current self-rated health and different dimensions of health information literacy, including needs, seeking and use of health-related information. Significant relationships were found between education level, interest in health information, seeking activity, self-rated current health and dimensions of health information literacy. Some categories of elderly people are more vulnerable regarding obtaining and use of health information: those with lower levels of education, those with poor health, and those who are not interested in and active at seeking information. For people who are found in any of these categories, it is important that available health-related information is understandable and can be accessed without too much effort-something that information providers should take into account.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)83–94
    Number of pages12
    JournalHealth Informatics Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • elderly people
    • health information literacy
    • health literacy
    • seniors

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