Communicating Online Diet-Nutrition Information and Influencing Health Behavioral Intention: The Role of Risk Perceptions, Problem Recognition, and Situational Motivation

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Despite the concerns raised about the impact of online health information on users, research has not specifically explored different types of information behaviors people exhibit during the communicative process. In this article, we address this research gap by combining the Situational Theory of Problem Solving with considerations of multiple dimensions of risk perception, such as affective and deliberative. This study constructs a hypothetical model to explore how online users’ risk perceptions and information behaviors (information seeking, forefending, and forwarding) influence their health behavioral intention. A survey collected data from 1,463 participants at two healthcare centers in China. Based on the structural equation modeling, multiple dimensions of risk perception play a distinctive role in communicating online health information and forming health behavioral intention. Furthermore, information forwarding, an essential information behavior, influences deliberative risk perception more than information forefending, and it is a much better predictor of individuals’ health intention than information seeking. Implications and suggestions for health communication research are discussed.

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