E-Health Literacy among Healthcare Students: The Effect of Demographic Variables

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Medical Library and Information Science, School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Biostatistics, School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objective: Electronic health (E-Health) literacy, especially among health students, is a significant challenge in promoting health in society. The present study aims to investigate healthcare students’ E-Health literacy level and the factors affecting it. 

Materials and Methods: In this correlational survey, the study population included all students of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran in 2019. Sample size was 228 students. Sampling method was convenience sampling and eHEALS questionnaire was used as research tool. The questionnaires were completed from June to July 2019. The level of e-Health literacy was reported using frequency distribution tables and mean, median, and mean percentage indicators. The relationship between demographic variables and e-Health literacy was analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient test, one-way ANOVA, and Student's t-test. 

Results: Most respondents (67.5%+13.2%) believed that the Internet is essential and very important in accessing health information. Students' e-Health literacy score was 29.22±5 out of 40 (73%). The highest score (3.82±0.71) is related to the item of “I know how to find helpful health resources on the Internet”. E-Health literacy among age groups, disciplines, and different educational levels were significantly different (p <0.001). With increasing age and educational level, e-Health literacy of students also increased (p-value <0.05). The students of Medical Genetics discipline had a higher average health literacy score than other groups.

Conclusion: the level of e-Health literacy skills of students was at a good level, but it is suggested that educators and programmers, and medical librarians pay attention to formal and informal e-Health literacy training to strengthen students' e-Health literacy and eliminate their weaknesses to reach its ideal level.


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