Online Health Information Seeking Behavior in Hong Kong: An Exploratory Study

Yuk Yee Yan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


This is an exploratory study that described the prevalence and patterns of internet health information seeking in Hong Kong. A convenient sample of 443 individuals completed the questionnaires. Only 44% (N= 195) of the respondents were identified as health surfers. Health surfers tended to be younger females (age group 20-29) and have higher education. Digital divide was evident by age and education. Professional health sites (78.0%) were the majority sites visited. Health topics searched ranged from women's/men's health to chronic diseases such as heart diseases, cancer and diabetes. Over 60% considered online health information useful, however, about 44%were uncertain about the reliability of this information. The major criteria for health websites were information from professionals and ease of understanding. The results underline the need for bridging the digital divide and the potential for pro-active use of the internet for health promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Issue number2
Early online date18 Oct 2008
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • Health information seeking
  • Hong Kong
  • Internet
  • Prevalence


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