Appl Clin Inform 2021; 12(02): 301-309
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1727154
Research Article

eHealth Literacy of Medical and Health Science Students and Factors Affecting eHealth Literacy in an Ethiopian University: A Cross-Sectional Study

Nebyu Demeke Mengestie
1  Department of Health Informatics, Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
,
Tesfahun Melese Yilma
1  Department of Health Informatics, Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
,
Miftah Abdella Beshir
1  Department of Health Informatics, Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
,
Genet Kiflemariam Paulos
2  Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

Background eHealth literacy is individual's ability to look for, understand, and evaluate health information from electronic sources. Integrating eHealth literacy to the health system could help lower health care costs and ensure health equity. Despite its importance, the eHealth literacy level in Ethiopia has not been studied on medical and health science students, who are important parties in the health system. Understanding their level of eHealth literacy augments practice of health care, efficiency in education, and use of eHealth technologies.

Objective This research study aims to determine eHealth literacy level and identify its associated factors among medical and health science students in University of Gondar (UoG).

Methods An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted from March to May 2019 among undergraduate medical and health science students in the UoG. Stratified multistage sampling was used. The eHealth literacy scale was used to measure eHealth literacy. A binary logistic regression model was fitted to measure association between eHealth literacy and the independent variables.

Results A total of 801 students participated in this study with a 94.6% of response rate. The majority (60%) were male and previously lived-in urban areas (68%). The mean eHealth literacy score was 28.7 and 60% of the participants possessed high eHealth literacy. Using health-specific Web sites (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.84, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.86–4.33), having higher Internet efficacy (AOR = 2.26, 95% CI: 1.56–3.26), perceived usefulness of the Internet (AOR = 3.33, 95% CI: 1.95–5.69), medical app use (AOR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.13–2.55), being female (AOR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.08–2.22), and being health informatics student (AOR = 2.02, 95% CI: 1.149–3.148) affect a high eHealth literacy level.

Conclusion The level of eHealth literacy in this study was moderate. Using specific reputable health Web sites, using smartphone medical applications, and Internet efficacy determine eHealth literacy significantly.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

Ethical clearance was obtained from research and ethical review board of University of Gondar. The study participants were informed about the objective and expected outcomes of the study and written consent was available guaranteeing choices of participation or refusal. Thus, participants read the consent form and provided a written approval or refusal for participation. All the information recorded was anonymous and kept confidential throughout the study.




Publication History

Received: 04 November 2020

Accepted: 17 February 2021

Publication Date:
07 April 2021 (online)

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