The Internet is a major source for health information but contributes to the digital divide and health disparities. Minorities with low literacy skills are at a particular disadvantage in obtaining online information. A website was created with health information presented through videos in Amharic and an interface that does not require reading skills to enable users with low/no literacy to navigate among topics. In all, 225 Israeli Ethiopian immigrants were asked to use the website, most with low/no literacy skills. Participants were excited about it, but those with low/no literacy felt they needed support and training for future use. Some felt it was too difficult. The findings point to unexpected potential sociocultural uses for the website for immigrants with different levels of literacy skills. The analysis yielded two user typologies that can help identify user needs and segmentation, a culture-centered adaptation of the technology acceptance model, and implications for communication infrastructure theory.
|Number of pages||24|
|Journal||New Media and Society|
|State||Published - 1 Jul 2018|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/ or publication of this article: This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Policy Research, Israel. The construction and the development of the health information website were supported by the Israel Ministry of Health as part of the National Program for an Active & Healthier Life. Some of the videos were supported by the Friendship Fund.
© 2017, The Author(s) 2017.
- Communication infrastructure theory
- computer use
- culture-centered approach
- digital divide
- generation gap
- health information
- low literacy
- technology acceptance model