Health consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet for their health education. The prevalence of Smartphones has made this even easier as people have access to social media where they can interact with others around the world. Health Information Seeking Behavior (HISB) can be described as means in which individuals obtain health information relating to their personal health activities that promote healthy living, risks to their health and illnesses. HISB varies in extent and scope - that is, what is being searched for and the source used to gather the information. The Internet, through the use of search engines, has been widely used as means to search for health information. People search for different types of health-related issues such as treatments for certain conditions, symptoms, general information on a particular health issue and so forth. Sometimes people search this information for family members or other people, besides themselves. It has become important for individuals to take ownership of their health and not solely depend on getting information relating to their health from their healthcare practitioners. Social media platforms provide a harbor where people from different places in the world can share and educate one another on health-related topics. As social media increasingly becomes one of the sources where people share and search for health information, it is important to understand the scope of the information being sought and the motivations to why people share the information in a public platform. For this research paper, an extensive literature review will be conducted in order to gather background information on Health Information Seeking Behavior, focusing on the use of social media as a source of the search.

Published in: International Conference on Information Society (i-Society 2018)

  • Date of Conference: 15-18 July 2018
  • DOI: 10.2053/iSociety.2018.0005
  • ISBN: 978-1-908320-92-6
  • Conference Location: Dublin, Ireland