Consumer demographics and internet based health information search in the United States: The intersectionality of gender, race, and class

Allison J. Morgan, Yuvay Meyers Ferguson, Eileen M. Trauth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Prescriptions for the successful provision of e-health information must integrate the varying needs of individuals for maintaining their personal health. Research emanating from both individual differences and health information searching literature suggests that a person's characteristics influence the pursuit of online health information. This paper addresses the factors influencing variation in health information searching strategies based on demographic differences among healthcare information consumers in the United States of America. Specifically, the authors evaluate variation in health information searching about diabetes within a population that varies by race, gender, age, socio-economic status, and education. The theory utilized in this research was the Individual Differences Theory of Gender and IT. Findings from this interpretive, qualitative study showed that differences such as race, gender, age, socio economic class, and geographic location all have an influence on searching behavior. However, it was found that these factors work together to influence behavior, rather than independently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-72
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics

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