What does science already know about existing health-related information and the way in which it is used? To answer this question, we analyse available findings.
The Hans-Bredow-Institut and the University of Erfurt compiled a synopsis of the present scientific findings on the dissemination and processing of health information. The synopsis aimed at answering the following questions: what types of health-related information can be identified? How and through which form of media do people without health-related impairments inform themselves about health topics in general? How and through which form of media do people get information in the event of an illness? How does behaviour towards the health-related information change (in the event of an illness)? How is health-related information processed? The overview of the forms of dissemination of health-related information was based on already existing systematics, whereby ways of communication and the potentials to educate were taken into account.
For the research overview, a comprehensive literature search was conducted and relevant studies from the period 2006-2016 were evaluated. The report summarises the state of research on health information behaviour (in general and in the event of illness) as well as findings on the dissemination of health information. Both the theoretical models and the empirical findings provide important information on how patients inform themselves and on which communication channels they can be reached with which topics.
The synopsis is supplemented by the qualitative study "The Search for Health Information – Patients’ Perspective and Market Overview" and the quantitative study "The Internet: Your Advisor for Health Issues As Well? Population Survey on the Search for Health Information on the Internet and the Reaction of Doctors". The reports for all sub-projects are available as downloads (pdf) at www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/patient-mit-wirkung.
Research programme: RP3 - Knowledge for the Media Society