Applying the comprehensive model of information seeking to understand chronic illness information scanning: Hong Kong evidence

Timothy K F Fung*, Po Yan Lai, Leanne Chang, Ho Man Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic illness is the most prevalent and costly global public health challenge. To address this challenge, health information is essential for individuals to make informed decisions to self-manage their health and prevent and monitor chronic illness. Although previous studies show that health information scanning—a form of information gathering behavior to obtain health information, incidentally, when health topics of interest arise during daily conversations with others or through regular use of the media—positively influenced health decisions, little is known about information scanning in the context of chronic illness. This study applied the Comprehensive Model of Information Seeking to examine factors that influence individuals' use of different channels for health information scanning. Using quota sampling to resemble population demographic characteristics, we collected 1100 online survey responses from Chinese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged from 18 to 65 or older. Three structural equation modeling analyses were performed to examine how antecedent factors and information carrier factors influenced the use of interpersonal/group channels, the Internet-related channels, and the traditional media channels for scanning chronic illness-related information. The findings supported that channel utility was an important determinant of health scanning behavior, and channel characteristics were strong predictors of channel utility. However, mixed findings were observed on the relationship between antecedent factors and channel utility across the three-channel categories, because some antecedent factors had direct influence on health information scanning. These findings will inform the information dissemination and promotional message design for chronic illness prevention and care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-412
Number of pages31
JournalWorld Medical and Health Policy
Issue number2
Early online date21 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health Policy

User-Defined Keywords

  • chronic illness
  • comprehensive model of information seeking
  • health communication
  • health information scanning
  • information channels


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