More and more people are seeking information about health issues on the internet, thus underscoring the importance of technology-embedded information regarding health concerns. In this study, we examine how gender affects the search for health information online and influences changes in health behavior. A total of 2008 individuals who returned questionnaires constituted an initial representative sample. Of these, 1406 (67.6%) were identified as internet users from the Jewish population (46.5% men and 53.5% women). Using a logistic regression analysis, we show that being a Jewish woman in Israel has (a) a significant impact on use of online health information and (b) a limited effect on health behavior. More specifically, we show that online health information induces positive changes regarding smoking and starting a diet among women. We conclude that gender is a motivating factor in the use of online health information but not necessarily in the initiation of health changes. The theoretical implication of the study is that the conceptual integration of a “gendered” perspective regarding online health information use with health empowerment offers a promising framework for testing the link between online health information and health behavior. The study’s practical applications for health management are highlighted as well, since women’s role as caregivers serves as a cornerstone for increased health promotion.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||1|
|Journal||J Community Med Public Health Care|
|State||Published - 2016|