Niu Z, Willoughby J, Zhou R. Associations of health literacy, social media use, and self-efficacy with health information–seeking intentions among social media users in China: Cross-sectional survey. J Med Internet Res 2021;23(2):e19134. https://www.jmir.org/2021/2/e19134 DOI: 10.2196/19134
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey to investigate the associations between health literacy, health-related social media use, self-efficacy, and health behavioral intentions online. The online survey was disseminated using a paid advertisement service and participants who were at least 18 years old and social media users were eligible to participate. The survey was completed by 449 adults in China. Participants were asked about frequency of social media use for health information, health literacy, self-efficacy in managing one’s health, and behavioral intention regarding health information seeking on social media. Results found that self-efficacy mediated the effects of health literacy and social media use on health information seeking behavioral intentions. Age of the participants significantly moderated the effects of health literacy on self-efficacy. Specifically, there was a stronger association between health literacy and health self-efficacy for younger participants (ages 23-30 years old) relative to older participants (over 30 years old). Findings give insight into the mechanisms behind health-related social media use.