International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2018 | Month: March | Volume: 8 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 213-225

The Utilisation of Internet for Health Information in a Nigerian University

Titus Onyi1, Abdulkadir Isa Itopa2

1Medical Academic, Department of Public Health/Community Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University ATBU, Nigeria.
2Engineer, Directorate of Information Communications and Technology, DICT, ATBU, Bauchi Nigeria;

Corresponding Author: Titus Onyi


Background: Internet is beneficial for health information and a good option for students especially in limited health resources. Existing studies have not extensively explored the utilisation of internet for health information. The study complements other studies and identifies gaps in students’ internet access for health information. It assessed the use of internet for health information among students of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU, Bauchi.
Objectives: The study assessed: the frequency of use of internet and internet for health information; the nature of the health information accessed; the search engines, websites and data bases utilized for searching health information; the perceived usefulness of internet for health information and the perceived barriers in the use internet for health information
Methodology: Pre-tested, self-designed 25-item questionnaires were administered to randomly selected sample of students. Data was analysed using SPSS vs. 23 and Microsoft Excel 2013.
Results: Respondents (n=400) reported high rates of internet access and for health information .The health information sourced was for personal health information, academics and leisure. The most frequently accessed search engine, website and database were Google, WHO and Medline respectively. Majority of respondents perceived lack of internet access and poor knowledge and skills for accessing quality health information as barriers in accessing health information through the internet.
Conclusion: The Students have good use of internet for health information. However, there are gaps in appropriate and optimal use of websites, search engines and databases for health information. Strengthening e-health including through mainstream education could help address these gaps.

Key words: Internet, Website, Health Information, Health Education, Students, Utilisation

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