Faculty Publications


Examining the health information-seeking behaviors of Korean americans

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Journal of Health Communication





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Many Korean Americans suffer from high levels of cancer incidence and have low cancer screening rates. A significant number of Korean Americans lack adequate information about cancer screening tests. However, little is known about their health behaviors. This article examines exposure to mass media and health information-seeking behaviors for Korean Americans, and their associations with demographic characteristics influencing variations in exposure to the different health information and trust in health information sources. The authors gathered data for this study using a cross-sectional, community-based survey conducted in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area during 2006 and 2007. It was administered to 254 Korean Americans who were 40 years of age or older. This study is part of the first health-related program of research to study exposure to mass media, health and cancer information sources, and seeking preferences and experiences of Korean Americans. Results indicated that Korean ethnic media sources and Internet are important sources used regularly. Age, years of education completed, and English proficiency levels for Korean Americans significantly predicted the likelihood of their Internet use. Low-income Korean Americans with less education were more likely to seek health information in Korean ethnic magazines and newspapers, whereas Korean Americans with higher education and English proficiency were more likely to seek information online. The most trusted source of health information among respondents was from a doctor or other health care professional. Future research should be conducted to determine whether physicians are actually used as a primary source for health information. © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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