Addressing the Changing Sources of Health Information in Iran

Amir Alishahi-Tabriz, Mohammad-Reza Sohrabi, Nazanin Kiapour, Nina Faramarzi


Background: Following the entrance of new technologies in health information era, this study aimed to assess changes in health information sources of Iranian people during past decade.

Methods: Totally 3000 people were asked about their main sources of health information. They were selected as two community‑based samples of 1500 people of more than 18-years-old in two different periods of time in August 2002 and August 2010 from the same locations in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Data analyzed based on age group, sex, educational level and household income in two different periods of time using Chi‑square. Odds ratios associated with each basic characteristic were calculated using logistic regression.

Results: Most common sources of health information in 2002 were radio and television (17.7%), caregivers (14.9%) and internet (14.2%) and in 2010 were radio and television (19.3%), internet (19.3%) and caregivers (15.8%) (P < 0.001). In 2010, young adults female used television and radio and male used internet as the main source of health information (P = 0.003). In moderate educational level women got their health information from radio and television and caregivers; while men used radio and television and internet as main source of health information (P = 0.005).Highly educated women and men mainly got their health information from internet and radio and television (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Although during 8 years of study radio and television remained as main source of health information but there is an increasing tendency to use internet especially in men. Policymakers should revise their broadcasting strategies based on people demand.

Keywords: Consumer health information, health policy, internet

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