Effects of Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status on Health Information-Seeking, Confidence, and Trust


Introduction. It is critical continually to monitor the influence of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status in health information-seeking, confidence, and trust to ensure that health messages reach those most in need. Methods. Using data from the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), multivariable logistic regression assessed the effects of race/ethnicity, education, and income on health information-seeking, confidence in obtaining health information, and trust of information sources. Results. Respondents of lower education were less likely to seek health information, and along with those of lower incomes had decreased confidence in their ability to obtain health information. Blacks, Hispanics, and those of lower income endorsed a lower level of trust in doctors and other health care professionals than non-Hispanic Whites and those of higher income, respectively. Conclusions. Improving the development and delivery of health information intended for minority and vulnerable populations may help reduce existing disparities in health information-seeking and care.