Exploratory Studies

964 Words 4 Pages
The present study The present exploratory study was conducted to explore the following questions and predictions:
1. What sources of information do Australians use to obtain health information?
Given that the public rely on the mass media for health information (Pennay, 2007), and the increasing trend towards using online sources (Cline & Haynes, 2001) it is predicted that health information source selection will be dominated by online sources. Similarly, the literature also noted that internet sources are easy to access, but less trustworthy (Cline & Haynes, 2001). It is predicted that this observation will be repeated in the current study. Additionally, a person’s need for information and health status is believed to change the way people
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What perceptions do Australians have regarding gut-microbiota research? Limited research in this area reduces the ability to predict public perceptions of gut-microbiota research. Thus, this area represents a novel area of exploration. However, if there has been little exposure to gut-microbiota information, then it could be reasoned that perceptions will be similarly underdeveloped and accordingly, the public may believe gut-microbiota to be unimportant to their overall health and to the health of others. Based on this, it is further predicted that little action will have been taken by participants to modify their gut health.
4. Do demographic variables influence public knowledge of gut-microbiota research? Finally, it is predicted that overall gut-microbiota knowledge will vary according to key demographic variables (e.g., education, socioeconomic status, where a person lives (rurally, regionally, metropolitan), whether a person is a shift worker, and whether a person has children. This is based on previous literature that links demographic variances with differences in health literacy and knowledge (Beauchamp et al., 2015).
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The questionnaire began with an information and consent page and concluded with a thank-you page which reiterated the contact details of the senior researchers. Gut-microbiota knowledge items were developed from an in-depth search of the recent literature linking gut-microbiota with health and illness. A number of sub-items were included which were not scientifically endorsed knowledge facts, but are still found in media and online communications about gut-microbiota. Information source use. This section comprised of 11 questions. Participants were asked to identify which information sources they use for general health information from a list of 15 sources. Six follow-up items then probed for further information, including which was the participant’s most used information source, the source used when unwell and the source used to obtain information about new medical procedures, medicines and therapies, which sources participants avoided, which sources the most trustworthy and which sources were the easiest to access. Next, participants were asked to elaborate on the reason for their

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