Examining e-Health Literacy and the Digital Divide in an Underserved Population in Hawai'i

Connolly, Kathleen Kihmm; Crosby, Martha E.
February 2014
Hawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Health;Feb2014, Vol. 73 Issue 2, p44
Academic Journal
Seeking health information is one of the leading uses for the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW). Research has found the amount one beneits from e-Health information (health information from electronic sources) is directly related to the level of e-Health literacy. e-Health literacy is deined as "the ability to seek, ind, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem." In order to gain a further understanding of the effects and use of technology, the digital divide, and the relationship between technology utilization and health outcomes, focus group interviews were conducted with participants diagnosed with diabetes and currently residing in a Medically Underserved Area. Overall, 25 volunteers participated in the four focus group meetings. Based on the focus group discussions, a general low e-Health literacy rate was identified. This was demonstrated by the lack of access to the Internet and the skills needed to retrieve health information. Of the 25 participants, 64% reported having Internet access at some level, but, only one reported going on the Internet every day. When the barriers to using the Internet were discussed, many participants expressed a lack of knowledge in how to retrieve information. Results of this study further show that having access to technology is not necessarily associated with usage. This dynamic is evolving into a new form of digital divide, gap in information retrieval and usage, versus gap in access. This is the first known study to examine e-Health literacy in an underserved population in Hawai'i. With the proliferation of information and communication technology and the transformation of information retrieval to be mobile and "on demand", a multi-pronged communication and education strategy is needed to explore how technology can improve e-Health literacy and health outcomes among underserved populations.


Related Articles

  • ICT Skills and Computer Self-Efficacy of Research Students: The Case of Institute of Pure & Applied Biology and Biotechnology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan. Sabzwari, Muhammad Naushad; Bhatti, Rubina; Ahmed, Bashir // Library Philosophy & Practice;Dec2012, p1 

    In the current changing higher education environment research students need to possess ample skills related to use of computer and different ICTs for education and research purposes. This study aims to investigate the awareness, usage and impact of information and communication technologies...

  • Urologist maldistribution aggravates rural shortages. Snider, Tim // Urology Times;May2002, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p1 

    Reports on the aggravation of rural shortages due to the maldistribution of the urologists in the U.S. States with greatest need for urologists based on population; Recruitment trends based on classified advertising; Reasons of the difficulty of getting doctors to set up practice outside a...

  • physician shortage area.  // Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (2009);2009, Issue 21, p1783 

    An encyclopedia entry for "physician shortage area," which refers to a geographic region with enough supply of physicians, is presented.

  • Number of underserviced areas surges in southern Ontario. Sibbald, Barbara // CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;02/24/98, Vol. 158 Issue 4, p466 

    Reports the rise in the number of medically underserviced areas in the southern part of Ontario, compared to that in the north. Comments from David Salter, manager of the Ministry of Health's Underserviced Area Program (UAP); The main reasons for the rise.

  • Expanding the primary care workforce.  // American Nurse;Nov/Dec2015, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p5 

    The article discusses the funding to be provided by the U.S. government to support the National Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs according U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

  • Life and Career at a Crossroads. Hellem, Amy // Review of Optometry;6/15/2007, Vol. 144 Issue 6, p21 

    The article discusses various reports published within the issue, including one about optometrists with multiple academic degrees and another about the strategies of optometrists on how to meet the medical needs of their underserved patients.

  • Effects of Team Care of Frequent Attenders on Patients and Physicians. ADAM, PATRICIA; BRANDENBURG, DANA L.; BREMER, KARIN LINDSTROM; NORDSTROM, DAVID L. // Families, Systems & Health: The Journal of Collaborative Family ;Sep2010, Vol. 28 Issue 3, p247 

    Frequent clinic attenders consume a large portion of health care resources while feeling underserved. At the same time, physicians are frustrated trying to adequately care for these patients. Previous trials of team care in primary care have rarely included control groups. Adults with eight or...

  • Just the Facts, Man. Kaser, Dick // Information Today;Oct2006, Vol. 23 Issue 9, p16 

    The author reflects on the fast rate of collective information. He questions the truth of things he learned in his college years because of massive information developments. He argues that people can use the Internet to update themselves with the new information available but cannot readily...

  • Ethnomedicinal Wisdom Among Local Tribes in Hamirpur Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. Sharma, Swati; Thakur, Akanksha; Verma, Priti; Kumari, Sweta; Sharma, Shikha; Arya, Vikrant // International Journal of Caring Sciences;Jan-Apr2013, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p3 

    The current investigation was focused at documentation, analysis and interpretation of ethnomedicinal phyto wisdom in Hamirpur District of Himachal Pradesh. The impoverished tribal and rural people of Hamirpur District (Himachal Pradesh, India) do not receive satisfactory primary healthcare....


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics