International Students’ Online Health Information Seeking Behavior
A Cross-Sectional Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) Prevention and Health Literacy among Chinese International Students
Keywords:higher education, international students, health literacy, sexually transmitted infections
Sexual health is crucial to the overall health and wellbeing of international students; however, few studies about them have evaluated their health literacy and knowledge about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) prevention. This study investigated Chinese International Students’ (CIS) health literacy about STIs, focusing on their use of information online. A culturally-tailored 12-item STIs prevention survey was developed for this study, and an internet search was conducted by eight CIS. Overall, participants found correct information for the STI items in 51% of the cases (n=96). A Wilcoxon test suggested that CISs who were sexually active had lower health literacy skills than those who were not (p=0.02), and there were no significant associations between health literacy levels, acculturation, and length of stay in the United States. While limited in scope, the result from this study suggests the need for further research as well as need for education in health literacy in order to counter threats to wellbeing among sexually-active CISs.