What Predicts Online Health Information Seeking Behaviour among Egyptian Adults? A Cross-Sectional Study

Ghweeba Mayada, Sobhi Ahmed, Mostafa Kofi, Amani Waheed, Shaimaa Attia, Antje Lindenmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Over the last decade, the Internet has become an important source of health-related information for a wide range of users worldwide. Yet, little is known about the personal characteristics of Egyptian internet users who search for online health information (OHI).
Objective: The aim of the study is to identify the personal characteristics of Egyptian OHI seekers and to determine any associations between their personal characteristics and their health information seeking behaviour.
Methods: This cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted from June to October 2015. An online questionnaire was sent to Egyptian users aged 18 years and older (N=1400) of a popular Arabic-language health information website. The questionnaire included: (1) demographic characteristics, (2) self-reported general health status, and (3) OHI seeking behaviour which included: frequency of use, different topics sought, and self-reported impact of obtained OHI on health behaviours. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis.
Results: A total of 490 participants completed the electronic questionnaire with a response rate equivalent to 35.0 %. Regarding personal characteristics, 57.1% of participants were females, 63.4% had a university level qualification, and 37.1% had a chronic health problem. The most commonly sought OHI by the participants were nutrition-related. Results of the multiple regression analysis showed that 31.0% of the variance in frequency of seeking OHI among Egyptian adults can be predicted by personal characteristics. Participants who sought OHI more frequently were likely to be female, of younger age, had higher education levels, and good self-reported general health.
Conclusion: Our results provide insights into personal characteristics and OHI seeking behaviours of Egyptian OHI users. This will contribute to better recognize their needs, highlight ways to increase the availability of appropriate OHI and may lead to the provision of tools allowing Egyptian OHI users to navigate to the highest-quality health information.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere216
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2017


  • information seeking-behaviour
  • Egypt
  • Internet
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • computer literacy


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