eHealth Literacy (2009-2014)

Project Staff

L. Kris Gowen: Principal Investigator.

Description

eHealth Literacy: eHealth Literacy in Transition-Aged Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions

Every day, more people go online for medical advice than actually visit health care professionals. This study investigated how young adults with mental health conditions in particular use the internet to access information about their diagnosis, medications, and treatment options. It also developed and piloted a training designed to improve the eHealth literacy of transition-aged youth with serious mental health conditions.

More specifically, this study aimed to answer the following research questions: 1. How do transition-aged youth with serious mental health conditions use the internet for information and support regarding their mental health? 2. When asked questions about mental health, do transition-aged youth with serious mental health conditions find accurate answers online? 3. How do transition-aged youth with serious mental health conditions evaluate web sites? 4. Can we create a half-day training to improve eHealth literacy in transition-aged youth with serious mental health conditions?

During the two-and-a-half year project, a training designed to improve the eHealth literacy of transition-aged youth with serious mental health conditions was developed and piloted. Additionally, the project produced three fact sheets focusing on online information seeking in YAMHC; one provided background research on the topic, another summarized our research on what types of information YAMHC sought, and a final one was designed to help young people determine the quality of mental health information sought. Additionally, two peer-reviewed publications were produced from this work.

Publications and Products

Online Mental Health Information Seeking in Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges

This article from The Journal of Technology in Human Services explores how YAMHC use the internet to access information about mental health, and the challenges they face when trying to access that information.

Evaluating Whether or Not to Trust Mental Health Information on the Internet

This tip sheet offers guidance for evaluating whether a source of information about mental health is accurate.

What Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions Search for Online

This information sheet lists questions young adults have about their mental health that cause them to seek answers online.

Facts About Young Adults, Mental Health, & Online Information Seeking

This information sheet lists facts about young adults' online search habits and the level of quality of information available to them online.

Tutorial for How to Search Effectively for Quality Mental Health Information Online

The eHealth project created an online tutorial designed to help young adults and their caregivers search effectively for reliable mental health information on the internet. Module 1 offers tips on searching, while Module 2 provides a rubric and worksheet for assessing the quality of the information found.

Presentations

How the Internet Supports the Lives of Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges

Presented at Alternatives Conference in Portland, OR, October 2012.

Youth Online: A Positive Approach to Smart Use

Presented at the Disability Fair, Portland, OR, March 2011.

How Young Adults Use the Internet to Access Mental Health Information and Support

Webinar presented online July 27th, 2010, to a national audience.