A Health Information Seeking Behavior on Internet for Health-related Problems: Perception and Impact on Mental Health of Engineering Students of Jodhpur, India
Keywords:Internet, health information seeking behavior, health-related problems, engineering students
Introduction: Internet has become a very popular tool for health information seeking among young adults. The study was designed to explore this behavior among the engineering students of Jodhpur city. Methods: It was a questionnaire based cross-sectional study on engineering students (n=120) who have ever searched the Internet for their health problems. Information was collected on Likert’s-five point scale and data were presented as frequencies. The association of the perception of the Internet as the source of health information was evaluated. Results: Internet based self-diagnosis and self-medication were reported by 52 (43.33%) and 43 (35.83%) students respectively. Three-fourths of participants searched for symptoms online. The majority students (80.83%) preferred Google/Yahoo search engines. Only 48 (40%) participants accepted the Internet search as a good option for solutions to their health-related problems. Online health information adversely affected students’ minds leading to over-thinking in 52 (43.33%), stress in 39 (32.5%), restlessness in 38 (31.67%), sleeplessness in 33 (27.5%) and depressed feelings in 32 (26.67%) and more confusion in 46 (38.33%) participants. However, 53 (44.17%) participants felt reassured by the Internet search results. The perception of the Internet search as a good option for finding solutions to health problems was positively associated with accuracy, accessibility, understandability of the found information (P= 0.000), feeling reassured (P= 0.03) and sharing of the information with family(P= 0.01) and health professional(P= 0.01). Conclusion: The students use the Internet in various ways for health information seeking despite the adverse mental effects and non authenticity/reliability of the contents available online.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Simran Gupta, Vinita Ghosliya
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.