People who turn to print media for their daily dose of health news are at a greater advantage than those who use digital media for health information, new research says.
"I think much is to be learned about health information-seeking behaviors and their relationship to the adoption of health behaviors in various demographic groups," said Nicole Redmond, who led the team of researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
"One of the challenges in this area is the rapidly evolving nature of information technology. Telecommunications such as text messaging and Internet access through smart phones and social networking sites have created a very different communications landscape in a very short time frame," Redmond added.
The survey asked participants to chose their preference of information source - mass media like TV, print media and Internet or interpersonal sources, such as family and friends, community organizations and health care providers.
Post analysis, Redmond and her colleagues found that print media, community organizations and health care providers showed the strongest associations. Earlier surveys in 2005 and 2007 had shown similar trends.
"I was not entirely surprised by the role of community organizations, but I did expect that friends and family would have shown a significant association with some health behaviors as well," said Redmond.
The study appears in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.