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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Relevance Of Health-Related Online-Information In Offline- And Online-Samples
Year 2009
Access date 18.08.2009

Health related websites are among the most used online sites. Searching for health related information is one of the main reasons for going online. It can be assumed that there is a connection between retrieving information from the internet and perceived competence in this area (as relevant factor for Empowerment).

The present study tries to analyze if there is a connection between Empowerment and information retracted through the internet to health related topics. The assumption being that individuals who are health oriented are more empowered when it comes to finding health relevant information than people who do not use the Internet for this purpose.


Two samples (online and offline) were surveyed exploring the connection between subjective psychological empowerment and health related internet use. The study utilized the Making Decision Scales (Rogers, 1997) and the Health Care Empowerment Questionnaire (Gagnon et al. 2006). Latent factors and psychometric qualities of the German translation were analyzed. An Online sample with 1203 participants (721 from Austria) was compared to an offline quota sample consisting of 300 individuals, considering the Austrian Internet Users Statistics. The online obtained data was evaluated by means of statistical inference, descriptive as well as structure-discovering (cluster analysis) procedures.


68% of the online sample uses the Internet for health related purposes, furthermore the study was able to show that 78% of the offline sample uses the internet when it comes to retrieving health related information. The study concludes that using the internet for health related purposes and discussing this information with professionals induces health related empowerment.


The results show that searching for health related information seems to enhance psychological empowerment. Furthermore the study shows that the individual’s confidence to find health related information boosts empowerment.

Reviewing these findings it needs to be noted, that it is imperative that online Information concerning health regarded topics is legitimate and reliable and that this ability to retrieve information can enhance empowerment. Therefore more focus should be laid on quality assessment of health related online information.

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Year of publication2009
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
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