Somebody Google a Doctor! Urgent Health Information Seeking Habits of Young Adults

Jason Anthony Cain 1 * , Cory Armstrong 2, Jue Hou 2

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Introduction: While much scholarship has been done on health information-seeking habits, comparatively little has been done on these habits among young adults.
Objective: The primary objective of this study was to determine to which media young adults turn during an urgent health crisis, which factors correspond to their choice, and if information-seeking corresponded to visiting a health professional.
Method: A survey method was used, sampling students from two large universities.
Results: Credibility was the most consistent factor in predicting respondent media choice for an urgent health matter. Whether respondents were socially conservative or liberal affected media choice, as did perceptions of online and traditional media credibility. Searching for health information online corresponded to more frequently visiting health professionals.
Conclusion: This study supports that young adults turn to a variety of media sources, traditional and online, during health crisis and that this information-seeking does correspond to visiting health professionals after.


health communication mediated sources information-seeking behaviors information sufficiency


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 10, Issue 2, Article No: e202006

Published Online: 24 Mar 2020

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Article Downloads: 720

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