Cancer Information Scanning and Seeking Behavior is Associated with Knowledge, Lifestyle Choices, and Screening

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 02/2006; 11 Suppl 1(1):157-72. DOI: 10.1080/10810730600637475
Source: PubMed


Previous research on cancer information focused on active seeking, neglecting information gathered through routine media use or conversation ("scanning"). It is hypothesized that both scanning and active seeking influence knowledge, prevention, and screening decisions. This study uses Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS, 2003) data to describe cancer-related scanning and seeking behavior (SSB) and assess its relationship with knowledge, lifestyle behavior, and screening. Scanning was operationalized as the amount of attention paid to health topics, and seeking was defined as looking for cancer information in the past year. The resulting typology included 41% low-scan/no-seekers; 30% high-scan/no-seekers; 10% low-scan/seekers, and 19% high-scan/seekers. Both scanning and seeking were significantly associated with knowledge about cancer (B=.36; B=.34) and lifestyle choices that may prevent cancer (B=.15; B=.16) in multivariate analyses. Both scanning and seeking were associated with colonoscopy (OR = 1.38, for scanning and OR=1.44, for seeking) and with prostate cancer screening (OR=4.53, scanning; OR=10.01, seeking). Scanning was significantly associated with recent mammography (OR=1.46), but seeking was not. Individuals who scan or seek cancer information are those who acquire knowledge, adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors, and get screened for cancer. Causal claims about these associations await further research.

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    • "Seeking health information can be considered to indicate a proactive attitude towards health (Johnson & Case, 2012, 17). In general, people who attend to health promoting behaviors are active in health information seeking (Pálsdóttir, 2008; Shim, Kelly & Hornik, 2006). In the context of physical activity, the frequency of obtaining information on physical activity from different sources has been positively associated with both aerobic and resistance training behaviors (Plotnikoff, Johnson, Karunamuni, & Boule, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we investigate young men’s seeking and avoidance of physical activity and exercise information. Stage of exercise behavior change as identified in the Transtheoretical Model and everyday health information literacy are studied in relation to these actions. The data were collected with a questionnaire survey (n=1,040) administered at the Finnish Defence Forces’ call-ups in September-December 2013 in Oulu, Finland. Statistical analyses include analysis of variance and multivariate logistic regression analysis. The results indicate that stage of exercise behavior change is associated with information seeking on physical activity and exercise, but only vaguely with avoidance of information. By contrast, everyday health information literacy was associated with avoidance of information and not with information seeking. Future studies should look more carefully into the relationship between health information behavior and literacy. Moreover, information behavior in stages of behavior change should be studied in the context of other health behaviors and among other populations.
    The 78th Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, USA; 11/2015
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    • "Individuals encounter a great deal of incidental health information in the course of their general communication patterns [18] [19]. In fact, scanned health information is encountered at greater rates than sought information [17] [20] [21]. Thus, because more individuals are exposed to scanned health information, it likely has a greater impact on population-level health outcomes [10] [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: A significant number of parents delay or refuse vaccinating their children. Incidental exposure to vaccine information (i.e., scanned information) may be an important contributor to anti-vaccine sentiment. This study examines the association between scanned information, trust in health information sources and vaccine safety concerns among African American, Mexican American, and non-Hispanic White women. Women (N=761) in Los Angeles County were sampled via random digit dial and surveyed regarding use of and trust in health information resources and vaccine safety concerns. Analyses indicate that the sources of information associated with vaccine safety concerns varied by ethnicity. Each ethnic group exhibited different patterns of association between trust in health information resources and vaccine safety concerns. Information scanning is associated with beliefs about vaccine safety, which may lead parents to refuse or delay vaccinating their children. These relationships vary by ethnicity. These findings help inform practitioners and policy makers about communication factors that influence vaccine safety concerns. Knowing these sources of information will equip practitioners to better identify women who may have been exposed to anti-vaccine messages and counter these beliefs with effective, vaccine-promoting messages via the most relevant information sources. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Patient Education and Counseling 08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2015.08.016 · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    • "They have termed this phenomenon information scanning: ''information acquisition that occurs within routine patterns of exposure to mediated and interpersonal sources that can be recalled with a minimal prompt'' (Niederdeppe et al. 2007, 154). They emphasize that information scanning occurs in the intentionally exposed context, which is distinct from ''incidental exposure'' or ''mere exposure'' commonly used in the advertising field when the subject is paying attention to other tasks (Shim, Kelly, and Hornik 2006). For instance, when an individual actively visits his Facebook account to learn about his friends' personal lives and is exposed to a cancer prevention ad shared by a friend, he may then read this ad. "
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    ABSTRACT: Using in-depth interviews with 32 young adults in the winter of 2012, this study explored how and why young people seek and scan health information on Facebook. A grounded theory approach was employed to analyze the data and construct an explorative framework focusing on health information desire and Facebook use as two dimensions to explain the four patterns of health information acquisitions: high seeking/high scanning, low seeking/high scanning, low seeking/low scanning, and high seeking/low scanning. For these patterns, the major motivations were identified as knowledge fulfillment, entertainment, sociability, and instrumentality. The findings contribute a range of practical implications in terms of how public health practitioners might better use Facebook to communicate health messages.
    Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet 06/2014; 18(2):157-175. DOI:10.1080/15398285.2014.902275
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