Knowledge Management and Healthcare

Saturday, November 2, 2013, 1:30pm

Does Online Cause or Enforce Health Information Disparity?

Yong-Mi Kim


A growing number of people are seeking health information on the Internet. To meet demands, healthcare providers are increasingly disseminating information online. While online health information has enhanced the dissemination of health information and improved people’s health-related knowledge, critics posit that such dissemination has widened knowledge disparities in health information and health benefits as a result. Scholars have identified the causes of such disparity from socioeconomic factors such as health literacy and educational levels, and computer skills. Although existing studies have enhanced our understanding of health disparity, drawing on existing research, this study posits that education offers individuals’ search capabilities and enhances health literacy. Consistent with the premise, this finding reveals that computer does not directly cause health information disparity but is the tool to promote health-related knowledge disparity.

© 2013. All rights reserved.