Personal health information management by college students: Patterns of inaction

Sujin Kim, Donghee Sinn, Sue Yeon Syn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction. College students’ diverse health information management activities are rarely studied within a personal health context. Our study identified an inactive group of college students and their information management activities to understand what factors determine inactivity. Methods. An online questionnaire was distributed to college students enrolled in a state-owned university in the USA between January and March 2017. A total of eighty-four questions on twelve information management activities grouped by seven types of personal health information were used to identify inactive performers within our student sample. Additionally, potential factors regarding demographics, academics, information resource types, and information workload were tested. Analysis. Our study sample includes 1,408 student responses. K-means clustering segmented the sample into two groups (inactive and active). Group differences between inactive and active personal health information managers were compared. Binary logistic regression was also performed to determine key factors predicting inactivity. Results. The inactive group (N=772, 54.80%) identified more male students, less clinic visits, and health information primarily sought through the Internet and mass media. Additionally, the awareness of personal health information management and training perceptions were found to be significant determinants of the inactivity. The inactive group proved to be lacking in most information management activities, except for discarding, and showed less interests in all types of health documents. Conclusion. Based on the inactive personal health information management group, how to collect, organize, retrieve, backup and migrate personal health documents, should be integrated into a formal college curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851
Number of pages1
JournalInformation Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the authors, 2020.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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