Online health information-seeking behaviour and mental well-being among Finnish higher education students during COVID-19

Hanna Rouvinen, Hannele Turunen, Pirjo Lindfors, Jaana Kinnunen, Arja Rimpelä, Leena Koivusilta, Markus Kulmala, Kevin Dadaczynski, Orkan Okan, Marjorita Sormunen

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Abstract

Online health information-seeking behaviour has increased since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020. This study examined whether health-related information on COVID-19 searched on the internet was associated with mental well-being among higher education students. A cross-sectional internet survey was conducted among 18- to 34-year-old students in Finland (N = 2976; mean age 24.61 years and median 24) in the spring of 2020. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s chi-square tests, Kruskal–Wallis nonparametric H tests, and a two-way ANOVA. The results indicated that most students (86% of females, 82% of males) used the internet to search for information on COVID-19. Students’ self-perceived abilities to determine the relevance of online information on COVID-19 were associated with mental well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdaad143
Number of pages11
JournalHEALTH PROMOTION INTERNATIONAL
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Nov 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • higher education students
  • internet
  • mental well-being
  • online health information-seeking

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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