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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Self-Efficacy Of Online Health Seekers
Year 2009
Access date 17.08.2009

More than half of the Internet users are so called „health seekers“, who search for health related information online (Fox, 2005). Previous studies sometimes speak of the existence of this special group without statistical data analyses. The aim of the present study is to find out if clearly differentiable groups (in the German speaking Internet) exist and if it is statistically significant to speak of health-seekers as opposed to non health seekers. Furthermore the authors of this study analysed differences between these groups regarding information sources as well as self-efficacy when it comes to the four main factors of health behaviour accoring to the BRAHMS study: nutrition, physical exercise, smoking and alcohol (Renner et al., 1996).


An online-study was conducted to survey 1488 participants (age between 19 and 72, MD = 31,69, SD = 9,25) using a web-based-questionnaire. The questionnaire included inquiries about self-efficacy (Jerusalem & Schwarzer, 1999) as well as questions about information sources and health behaviour. Data for the current study was collected using links, banners and buttons on partner websites and evaluated by means of statistical inference, descriptive and structure-discovering (cluster analysis) procedures.


By using a two-step cluster analysis the study was able to define two main groups: health seekers and non health seekers, the difference between these being quantitative as opposed to qualitative. The study was able to show that participants who search frequently for health related information tend to show more health-conscious behaviour. Furthermore they score significantly higher on self-efficacy scales when it comes to nutrition and smoking. This group also shows more confidence in health-information sources.


Health seekers and health conscious individuals tend to show higher self-efficacy rates than others regarding the four main factors of health behaviour. Furthermore they are more able to change specific habits in these four categories if need be. They are also more cognizant of their state of health and have more confidence in their abilities to find health related information. Reviewing these findings it needs to be noted, that it is imperative that online Information concerning health regarded topics is legitimate and reliable.

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Year of publication2009
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Full text availabilityFurther details