Health Information behaviour during COVID-19 outbreak among Egyptian library and information science undergraduate students

Ahmed Shehata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Health information shared on the Internet has the potential to improve people’s quality of life. However, the level of health information literacy and informational skills determines the individuals’ ability to obtain credible health information useful for them. This study investigates the Egyptian LIS undergraduates’ health information behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study has adopted a quantitative approach using a questionnaire to explore library and information science undergraduates’ health information behaviour. A sample of 161 students answered a questionnaire. The data were analysed using SPSS software. The study results show that official health websites, social media, and family and friends are the primary sources for health information for the participants. The findings also revealed that the sample has adequate health information skills, though many of the participants still need to raise their information literacy skills. Information credibility and personal beliefs were found to affect the participants’ decision to share health information on the Internet. One of the limitations of the study is that the sample selected in this study was LIS students who are trained to find reliable information as part of their education. Findings may be different for the “average” student. Furthermore, the questionnaire was distributed in one university, which means that the results cannot be generalised in other LIS departments using different courses. Therefore, more studies need to be conducted in other LIS departments with different course plans as they may produce different results. This study explores the health information behaviour of LIS undergraduates during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study results may help develop the course plan in many LIS departments in Egypt and the Middle East, which would help improve the students’ health information literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-430
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Development
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • health information
  • information literacy
  • information sharing
  • misinformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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