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Information and Communication Technology Use for Seeking Health Information in Vietnamese Living in Rural Areas

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Lee, Hee Yun; Wang, Kun; Deavours, Danielle F.; Lee, Jiyoung; Ott, Tanya-Fulmore; Lee, Jongwook; Yoon, Sangchul

Issue Date
Institute of Health Promotion and Education
International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, Vol.61 No.6, pp.307-316
The fast expansion of information and communication technology (ICT) use has provided easier access to online health information. However, studies focusing on rural Vietnam, where many health issues exist, are still sparse. This current study aimed to investigate the ICT use among rural Vietnamese and examine factors associated with online health information-seeking behaviors. In this cross-sectional study, 226 Vietnamese aged 25 to 70 were recruited from a rural town in Quang Tri Province in 2017. Predictors were selected based on Andersen's Behavioral Model. Binary logistic regression was conducted to identify factors associated with online health information-seeking behavior. Results showed that less than half of participants used the Internet, had a smartphone, had a computer or tablet, and used mobile apps. Binary logistic regression results showed that females (OR = .22, CI = .05-.97) and being married (OR = .09, CI = .01-.59) were associated with lower likelihoods to seek health information online. People with annual checkups (OR = 2.89, CI = 1.13-7.41) and more ICT use (OR = 2.58, CI = 1.87-3.57) were more likely to seek health information online. These findings suggested that ICT use and annual checkups were the most important factors in predicting online health information-seeking behavior among rural Vietnamese. Future health and government initiatives should focus on advancing access to healthcare and digital applications among this population.
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