Health information searching behavior in MedlinePlus and the impact of tasks

Yan Zhang, Peiling Wang, Amy Heaton, Heidi Winkler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Consumer health information is increasingly available online, but this vast amount of information is not necessarily accessible to general consumers. To design effective health information websites, it is critically important to gain an in-depth understanding of how consumers search for health information in these systems. This study is an attempt to explore consumer health information searching behavior in web-based health information spaces by observing their search behaviors in MedlinePlus. Nineteen undergraduate students accomplished three search tasks in MedlinePlus. The participants used both searching and browsing as interaction strategies. This paper reports on the findings of their searching behaviors, particularly query construction, query reformulation, and access to results; and their browsing behaviors, particularly access to different resources, health topics, and related topics. Furthermore, we examined if the number of concepts involved in search tasks had any impact on search behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIHI'12 - Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium
Pages641-650
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Event2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium, IHI'12 - Miami, FL, United States
Duration: Jan 28 2012Jan 30 2012

Publication series

NameIHI'12 - Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium

Conference

Conference2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium, IHI'12
CountryUnited States
CityMiami, FL
Period01/28/1201/30/12

Keywords

  • Consumer health informatics
  • Health information searching behavior
  • Health information systems
  • MedlinePlus
  • Search tasks

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