Using the Internet to access health-related information: Results from a nationally representative sample of New Zealand secondary school students

Jennifer Utter*, Mathijs Lucassen, Simon Denny, Terry Fleming, Roshini Peiris-John, Terryann Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

To determine if secondary school students in New Zealand who report greater health concerns (e.g. significant depressive symptoms) are more likely to use the Internet to access health-related information. A nationally representative health and wellbeing survey was undertaken in 2012 (n = 8500). Multiple regression models were used to examine the associations between students' use of the Internet to access health-related information and selected outcomes or indicators. Over 90% of students used the Internet on a daily basis, with 15.4% of students reporting that they had used the Internet to access health-related information. Students experiencing household poverty were more likely to report not using the Internet daily (17.4% compared to 4.2%). Odds ratios (ORs) for accessing the Internet for this sort of information were highest for students who reported self-harm [OR 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3-3.3], disordered eating (OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.4-3.2), or a suicide attempt (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.9-3.3). Our findings suggest that Internet-based health interventions may be a viable way to reach young people with high health needs, but consideration needs to be given to those with limited Internet access.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170096
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Volume32
Issue number2
Early online date23 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

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