Determinants of Health Information-Seeking Behavior: Implications for Post-Treatment Cancer Patients


Health information-seeking behavior (HISB) is active need-fulfillment behavior whereby health information is obtained from diverse sources, such as the media, and has emerged as an important issue within the transforming medical environment and the rise of medical consumers. However, little is known about the factors that affect HISB and its associations, and the health outcome of HISB. The aim of this study was to examine individual and social contextual factors associated with HISB and to systematically review their effects on health status among posttreatment cancer patients. Individual determinants of HISB included demographic factors, psychosocial factors, perceived efficacy and norms, and health beliefs. Contextual determinants of HISB encompassed communitycharacteristics, neighborhood social capital, and media advocacy. Improving through factors on these two levels, HISB raised individuals’ self-care management skills and medical treatment compliance, and enhanced shareddecision-making and medical treatment satisfaction. Moreover, because HISB can differ according to individuals’ social contextual conditions, it can give rise to communication inequalities. Because these can ultimately lead to health disparities between groups, social interest in HISB and balanced HISB promotion strategies are necessary.