Examining associations between health information seeking behavior and adult education status in the U.S.
An analysis of the 2012 PIAAC data
This paper presents data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies with a focus on the interrelationships among health information seeking behavior (HISB), and health status or use of preventive health measures for U.S. adults both with and without a high school diploma. Key results of ordinal and binary logistic regression analyses indicated that, after controlling for demographic factors, (1) adults with a high school diploma use more text-based health information sources while adults without a high school diploma use more oral sources, (2) using the Internet as a source of health information is more strongly related to reporting excellent/very good health status than having a high school diploma, (3) those without a high school diploma who use the Internet report the largest increase in health status over any other health information source, and (4) for those with learning disability or vision problem, a high facility in reading English is an important predictor of whether the Internet is used as a health information source. The Internet appears to play a key role in both enhancing health status and enabling use of preventive measures for those with and without a high school diploma; although, individuals without a high school diploma who use the Internet for health information derive substantial benefit in health status.