Current research in health information literacy research

Isto, Noora and Heidi from HIBA project participated in the 5th European Conference in Information Literacy in Saint-Malo, France. All were a part of the Health Information Literacy Special Session organised by Anne-Kathrin Mayer (ZIPD, Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information) and Maija-Leena Huotari (University of Oulu).

In the session, Veronika Kuhberg-Lasson (ZIPD) discussed the health information literacy knowledge (HILK) of students from vocational schools in Germany. According to the study, lower education lead to lower HILK with no significant differences between vocations. However, when tested for personality differences, the authors suggested that instead of the level of education, the use of untrustworthy information sources might be related to higher levels of extraversion.

Heidi presented a paper on the Relationship between Everyday Health Information Literacy and Attitudes towards Mobile Technology among Older People, a cooperation between researchers participating in the HIBA project, Oulu Deaconess Institute and the University of Oulu. The study investigated how everyday health information literacy (EHIL) was related to the use of traditional and advanced mobile information technologies, and how older adults felt about the use of advanced mobile technologies (i.e. smart phones, tablet computers). Regarding their EHIL, only 28% felt that it is easy to access reliable health information from the Internet. A minority had used advanced mobile information technologies, but the attitudes in the group of respondents were generally rather positive. The findings showed that confidence and positive opinions on EHIL had more positive opinions on mobile information technology. The study suggests that older adults with different levels of EHIL should be engaged in the development of new mobile information technologies.

Noora presented a paper related to EHIL together with Teija Keränen and Maija-Leena Huotari titled Examining the Applicability of the Everyday Health Information Literacy Screening Tool in the Context of Energy. In the study, The factorial structure of the EHIL screening tool modified for energy information was similar to the original tool. The tool can be used to find individuals who lack motivation or have difficulties in finding or evaluating information.

Anna-Maija Huhta (University of Oulu), who has previously worked in HIBA project, presented a co-authored paper Concepts Related to Health Literacy in Online Information Environments: A Systematic Review. Huhta and her colleagues had conducted a review of how information is approached in various health related literacy concepts. Majority of the analysed texts were written in medical and health sciences. The most common concepts were health literacy, ehealth literacy, health information literacy, and (everyday) health information literacy. Similar to all definitions was that all focussed on the ability to understand, comprehend and use information but also to use information as a tool. Differences related to the role of prior knowledge, information needs, critical evaluation of information and types of information considered.

Sigríður Björk Einarsdóttir and Ágústa Pálsdóttir had investigated the health information literacy of parents of children with a disability or long-term illness using qualitative interview study. The authors conclusion was that information seeking takes time and especially with information that should be easily available, takes time and effort.

Finally, Anne-Kathrin Mayer (presented by Veronika Kuhberg-Lasson) investigated the different approaches to measuring information literacy skills. The authors had found discrepancies between objective and subjective measures, and suggested further research on their causes and relations to other factors.

As a whole, the presentations show that it is not uncomplicated to measure and study health information literacy and to say what should be measured and how. Appropriate practices, confidence and good outcomes depend on multiple factors — as their lack of. At the same time, it seems that it is possible to develop scales that can be useful as proxies of certain constellations of practices to understand better how people interact with health information.

2017-09-20 at 2 58 pm: Sheila Webber live blogged the session at http://information-literacy.blogspot.se/2017/09/health-information-literacy-session-pam.html

New article: Taking Health Information Behaviour into Account in the design of e-health services

The HIBA project approach and rationale for studying health information behaviour and health information literacy as a premise of developing successful e-health services is discussed in a new article just published in the Finnish Journal for eHealth and eWelfare vol 8, issue 4.

Abstract

The aim of this article is to bring forward the benefits of a better integration of a comprehensive understanding of individuals information behaviour in the design and development of e-health services. This study is a descriptive review based on a non-exhaustive selection of literature that describes the state-of-the-art, problems and opportunities identified in e-health, health information behaviour and health information literacy research. By focusing on how to tailor the information provided and the technological devices to fit the information behaviour, the approach has also potential to uncover new insights into how to adequately implement and integrate ICTs into everyday life practices of other hard-to-reach groups in society. We presuppose that it will be possible to give practical recommendations based on a combined understanding of individual differences in health information behaviour and users expectations and experiences, acquired through empirical studies focusing on older adults. Moreover, the usefulness of health information literacy as an indicator of the patterns and competences related to health information behaviour is highlighted.

Full text of the article at FinJeHeW site.

Learning about information literacy at ECIL and participating ASIST

The European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) took place at Prague, Czech Republic at 10.-13.10.2016. Straight after ECIL the Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) gathered researchers all around the world to Copenhagen, Denmark. Timing of the conferences provided me a great opportunity to join both of the conferences.

ECIL is initiated and organized by the Department of Information Management of Hacettepe University and Department of Information and Communication Sciences of Zagreb University. The main theme this year was Information Literacy in the Inclusive Society. IMG_9144_ECIL_blogiin

The keynote speeches were given by Tara Brabazon and Jan Van Dijk, and futhermore, invited speakers were Ole Pilerot, Vít Šisler and Annemaree Lloyd. Especially the keynote speeches raised discussion as Tara was intentionally very provocative in her speech and Jan´s perspective was from outside of the information and library science field.

As a member of the HIBA project I presented some of our results relating to older adults health information literacy skills. The study presented was part of the GASEL study.

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Heidi´s PechaKucha presentation on “everyday health information literacy of older people in Finland”.

ECIL focused strongly on libraries and information literacy teaching, but there was always also a more theoretical and/or general paper or panel sessions to attend for.

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Example of the interesting panel discussions in ECIL.

The abstract book of ECIL can be found here: http://ecil2016.ilconf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ECIL2016_BoA.pdf and selected full text papers will be later published in a ECIL’s Proceedings Books are  published by Springer (agreement with the publisher is on yearly basis) under Communications in Computer and Information Science series (CCIS).

ASIST´s theme was Creating Knowledge, Enhancing Lives through Information & Technology. Plenary speeches were given by Greg Welch from University of Central Florida and by Markus Bundschus from Roche Diagnostics.

The topics of ASIST presentations and panels covered all from health information behaviour to digital data curation and the science of games. In addition to sessions relating to information behaviour I found myself listening sessions about e.g., multiculturalism of LIS education, digital sociology and information science research, open peer review and lifelogging. Examples of the panels in ASIST: IMG_9862_ASIST blogiinIMG_9811_ASIST blogiin

ASIST included not only paper presentations and panels but also several poster presentations. Again I was there presenting the results relating HIBA and GASEL projects. This time the topic was “opinions and use of mobile information technology around older people”.

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Heidi with the poster.

The ASIST proceedings and information of the previous conferences can be found here (free view for ASIST members): https://www.asist.org/publications/annual-meeting-proceedings/

Older people were present also in the street view of Copenhagen with a campaign “Do we ever stop dreaming?”

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Next ECIL will be organized in St-Malo, France and next ASIST at Washington DC. Shall we meet there?

(Post blog written by Heidi Enwald)

Focus on health information behaviour

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Heidi, Noora and Isto from HIBA participated in this year’s ISIC – The Information Behaviour Conference in Zadar, Croatia. Also Anna-Maija who worked in the project in autumn 2015 was with us in Zadar.

Heidi Enwald, foto: Mate Juric

Heidi reported findings from an earlier GASEL project in a paper titled Health information behaviour, attitudes towards health information and motivating factors for physical activity among older people: differences by sex and age together with coauthors, Noora  and her coauthors presented a poster Validating the factorial structure of the everyday health information literacy screening tool in three different populations, and we all from HIBA presented the project in a poster, imaginatively titled Taking health information behaviour into account in the development of e-health services.

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Prof. Ian Ruthwen

There were also several other interesting papers relating directly to the themes of HIBA. Prof. Ian Ruthwen discussed in his opening keynote information behaviour during significant life events. The talk gave much food for thought as health related events are a major category of these types of major episodes in life but also because it is not always the case. Much of the everyday health and health information practices are not experienced as significant events that apparently also affects how we react to them and what kinds of information practices stem from these mundane events and how they differ from more significant episodes of life.

Of other interesting papers, you could mention the two other papers in Heidi’s session. Ina Fourie and Valerie Nesset reported of an exploratory review of research on cancer pain and information-related needs, and Theresa Anderson and Ina Fourie discussed about information interactions related to empathetic care for the dying.