Health information seeking on social media: the diversification approach

Dennis Rosenberg, Rita Mano, Gustavo S. Mesch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Internet studies have rarely addressed gender and/or ethnic differences in health information seeking on social media. Moreover, the role of locality size in explanation of this phenomenon has been overlooked. This study proposed a diversification approach to address these issues. According to it, belonging to numerous disadvantaged groups increases the probability of health-related Internet/social media use. Design/methodology/approach: The data were collected via telephone survey. The sample consisted of 798 Israeli Internet users who reported using social media for any purpose, gender, ethnic affiliation and locality of residence. The data were analysed using a logistic regression technique. Findings: Arab female social media users, who resided in small localities, were more likely than the other studied social groups to seek both non-medical and medical information on social media. Furthermore, Arab female social media users were found having the highest likelihood among all studied social groups to seek information regarding physical activity and medications on social media. Practical implications: The findings largely supported the diversification approach and signal a major need for a greater supply of public health information for members of minority groups, especially those residing in small localities. Originality/value: The study investigates triple social disadvantage in health-related social media use.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)364-381
    Number of pages18
    JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 28 Mar 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.


    • Ethnic origin
    • Gender
    • Health information
    • Locality size
    • Social media

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies
    • Sociology and Political Science


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