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Associations of Self-rated Health and Socioeconomic Status with Information Seeking and Avoiding Behavior among Post-Treatment Cancer Patients

  • Jung, Minsoo
  • Published : 2014.03.01

Abstract

This study investigated how self-rated health and socioeconomic status are associated with behaviour of cancer survivors regarding desire for information. For this association, we compared survivors who did not seek information about cancer with those who did. We examined how sociodemographic, socioeconomic, cancerrelated, and health information factors are associated with self-rated health (SRH) by health information seeking/avoiding behavior in a survey of 502 post-treatment cancer patients. In the information seeking group, all four factors exhibited significant relationships with SRH. SRH values were significantly high for women (p<0.05), non-Hispanic White (p<0.05), and educated (p<0.01) participants, and for those who had high self-efficacy to use health information by themselves (p<0.01). Furthermore, in the information avoiding group, not only were there no significant relationships between socioeconomic status (SES) and SRH, but there were negative associations between their attitude/capacity and the SRH. In terms of communication equity, the promotion of information seeking behavior can be an effective way to reduce health disparities that are caused by social inequalities. Information avoiding behavior, however, does not exhibit a negative contribution toward the relationship between SRH and SES. Information seeking behavior was positively associated with SRH, but avoiding behavior was not negatively associated. We thus need to eliminate communication inequalities using health intervention to support information seeking behavior, while simultaneously providing support for avoiders.

Keywords

Health information seeking;health information avoidance;self-rated health;health communication

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