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Online Health Communities and Health Literacy: Applying a Framework for Understanding Domains of Health Literacy

Online Health Communities and Health Literacy: Applying a Framework for Understanding Domains of Health Literacy
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Author(s): Erin Willis (University of Memphis, USA), Ye Wang (University of Missouri – Kansas City, USA) and Shelly Rodgers (Missouri School of Journalism, USA)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 17
Source title: User-Driven Healthcare: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2770-3.ch010

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Abstract

The purpose of the chapter is to define health literacy and e-health literacy in the context of online health communities (OHCs). The chapter has three sections. The first section defines and discusses features of OHCs. The second section defines health literacy and e-health literacy, including domains of health literacy, which, as the authors argue, is necessary for a greater understanding of health literacy and OHCs. The third section applies the health literacy domains using The Biggest Loser League weight-loss OHC as a case study. A content analysis of posts was conducted between September 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. Domains of health literacy were coded. Results show that functional literacy and interactive literacy were present in the OHC discussions to a greater degree than any of the other health literacy domains examined. Results are discussed in light of health literacy and e-health literacy, and practical implications of OHCs are explored.

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