Currently submitted to: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Date Submitted: Sep 6, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Sep 6, 2020 - Nov 1, 2020
(currently open for review)
eHealth literacy and beliefs about medicines among college students: cross-sectional study
Good eHealth literacy and correct medication belief are beneficial for making good healthcare decisions and these may further influence an individual's quality life. However, few literature discusses these two factors simultaneously. Moreover, gender differences are associated with health literacy and beliefs about medicines. Therefore, it is important to scrutinize the multiple relationships between college students’ eHealth literacy and beliefs about medicines and the gender difference was also examined.
This study aims to (a) scrutinize the multiple relationships between college students’ eHealth literacy and beliefs about medicines and (b) analyze gender differences in eHealth literacy and beliefs about medicines.
We used questionnaire which included age, gender, three-level eHealth literacy, and beliefs about medicines to collect data. 475 valid data were obtained to analyze by performing independent t-tests and canonical correlation analyses.
The t-test results showed that compared to males, females had lower functional eHealth literacy and higher specific concerns in beliefs about medicines. The canonical correlation analysis indicated that the first and second canonical correlation coefficients between eHealth literacy and beliefs about medicines reached a significant level, implying the multivariate relationship indeed existed.
These findings reveal that females have lower functional eHealth literacy and stronger concerns about their medicines. In addition, students with higher eHealth literacy had more positive perceptions and beliefs about their medicines. This study provided a direction for educational interventions to health education practitioners who should help students improve their eHealth literacy and thereby build positive beliefs about medication, and all these may contribute to enhance the quality life.
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