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Open AccessArticle

Associations between COVID-19-Related Digital Health Literacy and Online Information-Seeking Behavior among Portuguese University Students

1
School of Nursing, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
2
Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing (UICISA: E), Nursing School of Coimbra (ESEnfC), 3000-232 Coimbra, Portugal
3
Global Health and Tropical Medicine, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, NOVA University of Lisbon, 1349-008 Lisboa, Portugal
4
Faculty of Educational Science, Interdisciplinary Centre for Health Literacy Research, Bielefeld University, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
5
Department of Nursing and Health Science, Fulda University of Applied Sciences, 36037 Fulda, Germany
6
Center for Applied Health Science, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238987
Received: 26 October 2020 / Revised: 27 November 2020 / Accepted: 30 November 2020 / Published: 2 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Global Health Literacy)
We aim to evaluate the associations between digital health literacy (DHL) related to COVID-19 and online information-seeking behavior among university students. Methods: A total of 3.084 students (75.7% women), with an average age of 24.2 (SD = 7.5) participated in this cross-sectional study, most of whom (36.5%) were from social sciences and pursued a bachelor’s degree (50.7%). Data on COVID-19-related DHL and online information-seeking behavior were collected using an online questionnaire. Logistic regression models were performed. Results: As the pandemic progressed, participants showed a lower chance of achieving a sufficient DHL (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.6; 0.9). Using search engines more often (e.g., Google) (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.5; 0.9), Wikipedia (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.6; 0.9) and social media (e.g., Facebook) (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.6; 0.9) decreased the likelihood of achieving sufficient DHL related to COVID-19. More frequent use of websites of public bodies (OR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.1; 2.5) increased the odds of reporting sufficient DHL. Conclusion: DHL is associated with university students’ online information-seeking behavior in the time of COVID-19. From a community and public health perspective, programs aiming at improving DHL should be highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital health literacy; COVID-19; university students; information-seeking behavior digital health literacy; COVID-19; university students; information-seeking behavior
MDPI and ACS Style

Rosário, R.; Martins, M.R.O.; Augusto, C.; Silva, M.J.; Martins, S.; Duarte, A.; Fronteira, I.; Ramos, N.; Okan, O.; Dadaczynski, K. Associations between COVID-19-Related Digital Health Literacy and Online Information-Seeking Behavior among Portuguese University Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8987. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238987

AMA Style

Rosário R, Martins MRO, Augusto C, Silva MJ, Martins S, Duarte A, Fronteira I, Ramos N, Okan O, Dadaczynski K. Associations between COVID-19-Related Digital Health Literacy and Online Information-Seeking Behavior among Portuguese University Students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8987. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238987

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rosário, Rafaela; Martins, Maria R.O.; Augusto, Cláudia; Silva, Maria J.; Martins, Silvana; Duarte, Ana; Fronteira, Inês; Ramos, Neida; Okan, Orkan; Dadaczynski, Kevin. 2020. "Associations between COVID-19-Related Digital Health Literacy and Online Information-Seeking Behavior among Portuguese University Students" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 23: 8987. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238987

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