Seeking Online Health Information for Aged Parents in China: A Multigroup Comparison of the Comprehensive Model of Information Seeking Based on eHealth Literacy Levels

Xin Ma, Liang Chen


People unable to use the Internet, especially most older adults in developing countries such as China, have difficulty accessing multiple benefits of seeking online health information. One possible solution is to motivate adult children to do so for their aged parents. Therefore, by incorporating variables related to aged parents and using children’s eHealth literacy to conduct a multigroup analysis, the Comprehensive Model of Information Seeking (CMIS) is extended to identify what factors motivate children to seek online age-related disease information for their aged parents. Three hundred eighty-one adults participated in an online survey in March 2020. Multigroup structural equation modeling was used to analyze the baseline and multigroup models. The results show that fear and information carrier characteristics are positively associated with information seeking, mediated by the utility. Furthermore, adults with low eHealth literacy are more likely to be motivated directly by information carrier characteristics, while the rest tend to be encouraged by fear and their parents’ general health status through the utility.


online health information seeking, comprehensive model of information seeking, surrogate-seeking, eHealth literacy

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