Although several studies have been conducted on online health information seeking behavior and its relationship with health beliefs, there are still gaps in identifying the exact and comprehensive relationships of these factors in Iran. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships</span> between health belief model and the intention to search online health information among university students in Ahvaz City, Iran.
In this correlational study, the statistical population consisted of all students who study at universities in Ahvaz City, in the academic year of 2019. To determine the sample size of the research, according to the Cochran formula, 600 students were selected through stratified random sampling method, and using a mixed questionnaire consisted of 6 components and 30 items. The reliability of the questionnaire was 0.886 using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. 527 questionnaires were distributed and the data were analyzed using multivariate regression method.
Most of the respondents were in the age group of 21-30 years (55.8%). According to the final analysis, the “perceived benefits” explained 66.8% of the changes in the intention to seek health information. In addition, “perceived severity”, “perceived susceptibility”, and “self-efficacy”, accounted for 24.7%, 17.5%, 14.0% of the variation in intention to seek health information, respectively. However, the relationship between “perceived barriers” and intention to seek health information was not confirmed.
Seeking for health information in the Internet is influenced by health beliefs, and the Internet, as the most important and accessible information source, has many benefits for the students; thus, affecting the severity and sensitivity of this stratum to use, adds health information daily. This indicates a relatively high level of awareness among students about improving their health information.
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