Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2017, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (2): 76-95.doi: 10.1515/jdis-2017-0009

• Research Paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Seeking Health Information Online: The Moderating Effects of Problematic Situations on User Intention

Xia Lidan,Deng Shengli(),Liu Yirong   

  1. School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
  • Online:2017-02-25 Published:2017-02-25

Abstract:

Purpose: This study investigates how online user intention in searching health information is affected by problematic situations.

Design/methodology/approach: Based on the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Technology Acceptance Model, and Sense-making theory, we propose two dimensions of problematic situations: urgency and severity of health issues being searched online. Data were collected through a questionnaire survey among 214 Wuhan University students and analyzed using hierarchical regression analysis.

Findings: Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and subjective norm can influence user intention to seek health information online. The urgency of problematic situations has a negative moderating effect on the relationship between perceived ease of use and user intention and the relationship between subjective norm and user intention. The severity of problematic situations has a negative moderating effect on the relationship between subjective norm and user intention.

Research limitations: The respondents of the survey are limited to students in one Chinese university, so whether this study’s results can be applied to another population or not remains to be verified. In addition, only two dimensions of problematic situations are considered in this study.

Practical implications: The paper puts forward the moderating effect of problematic situations and verifies it, which is the compensation for online health information-seeking behavior research. Besides, our analyses have implications for professional design of health care systems and related consumer information searches, and improve their performance.

Originality/value: Previous work has reported the effects of problematic situation on user intention to seek health information online, ignoring its influence on other factors. This empirical study extends that work to identify the influence of problematic situation when seeking intention-behavior data in two dimensions, urgency and severity.

Key words: Health information seeking, Situation, Moderating effect, Urgency, Severity