This study states that Browsing webpages that offer health information allows visitors to remain anonymous, particularly when researching sensitive topics. Uncertainty about confidentiality may be a barrier for adolescents to discuss their health in-person with a physician and seek further health information on the Internet after seeing a physician.

To explore factors contributing to perceived online health information seeking after visiting a physician in a sample of high school students.

A cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2016 to January 2017. The study included 702 high school students. Socio-demographic and behavioral questionnaire as well as the electronic health (e-health) literacy scale (eHEALS) were used to collect data. Students described their perceptions of what they commonly do after visiting a physician, which was not connected to a particular clinic at any point in time.

A total of 347 students (49.4%) perceived that they search for online health information after visiting a physician. Attending humanities-languages school program, lower education level of parents, being older at first Internet use, stronger influence of online health information on students’ behaviour, better e-health literacy, use of smartphones, YouTube, social networks and heath forums were associated with perceived online health information seeking after visiting a physician.

One-half of high school students in this study perceived that they search for online health information after having visited a physician. Our results suggest that many adolescents might seek additional information about health.

Reference link- https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article-abstract/38/3/231/5937178