Volume 1, Issue 2 (7-2014)                   Human Information Interaction 2014, 1(2): 137-149 | Back to browse issues page

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Shamloo Z, Riahinia N. Analyzing Users’ Health Information Needs Based on the Yahoo Answers®. Human Information Interaction 2014; 1 (2)
URL: http://hii.khu.ac.ir/article-1-1874-en.html
Abstract:   (7430 Views)
Background and Aim: People refer to virtual information resources for answering their medical questions. One of these resources includes question and answering (Q&A) sites in medicine. This study aims to analyze health  questions posted on the Yahoo Answers to identify health information needs, the motivations for asking questions, evaluation of information user satisfaction resulted from received answer, the reason of using answers, the using aspects of given information and the types of selection criteria people employ when they select best answers in Yahoo! Answers. Method: A survey was conducted using an online questionnaire. Email invitations were sent to 1015 users of Yahoo! Answers and 100 users filled the questionnaire. Moreover, 500 questions, 50 from each health subject category, were subject to content analysis using MAXQDA.  Having no cost, having fun and social connection in Yahoo! Answers constitute the most important motivations for using the health group of Yahoo! Answers. The findings show that “concise answers” is considered as users’ satisfaction factor. Results: The findings showed that the concern about themselves, family, people who they care about, the lack of information and the knowledge gap, validating information from other people, the lack of social support, particularly insurance and income are among  the main reasons for users to ask questions. Prevention and health promotion, turning the guesses to certainty, consultation before treatment, surgery, or taking certain medications constitute most of the cases users use from the received answers of the questions. The Socio- emotional value was particularly a prominent criteria from User-Perspective in this study for selecting the best answer. Conclusion: According to this research, it was found that natural cure and remedies, orthodontics, losing weight methods, loosing fats, skin diseases and how to treat them, foot pain and the related problems, male genitalia, the use of eye lenses, menstruation and the problems related to the sleeping constitutes the most categories of subjects in the health part of Yahoo! Answers. The results show that most of the questions are related to a particular disorder or disease like general information, the symptoms, causes, diagnoses, treatments, prognoses of the disease.
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Type of Study: Research |

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