The study of health information seeking has become increasingly important in recent years due to the growing emphasis on the consumer/client relationship in the health arena. This trend implies a shift away from the development of health campaigns with one unitary message to a recognition that alternatives must be provided and options discussed. Indeed, health agencies are adopting the role of information-seeking facilitators through the creation of telephone services and sophisticated databases.
A greater understanding of the public’s needs, especially why people seek information, may help us to accomplish the many behavioral changes that will lead toward decreases in morbidity and mortality and a more balanced approach to wellness and prevention. This is especially important in the context of the revolution in access to information brought about by the many recent advances in databases and telecommunication systems, perhaps best represented by the advent of the Internet.
This book provides a comprehensive treatment of these issues appropriate for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, practitioners, and researchers.