Consumer Use of Computerized Applications to Address Health and Health Care Needs. Race and ethnicity

03/01/2009

There is little evidence that among internet users, the percentage who look for health information varies widely along racial and ethnic lines. One study found that 59.5% of nonHispanic white respondents had looked for medical information for themselves, while around 53-54% of Hispanic and nonHispanic black respondents had.[177] The results from the MedlinePlus user study are more striking with 77% of the users identifying their race as white and only 5% calling themselves black or African American. [178] In that study the vast majority—93%—described their ethnicity as nonHispanic.[‡] However, one expert pointed out that among Hispanics there appears to be a difference based on language skills. Perhaps because there is a limited number of online health resources in Spanish, those who speak Spanish as their main language lag behind others. However, bilingual Hispanics have information-seeking rates that more closely match individuals in other ethnic groups.

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