Evaluation of a website that promotes social connectedness: Lessons for equitable e-health promotion

Katy Osborne, Katherine Patel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The online provision of health information and services has been viewed as having the potential to inform and empower health consumers and, ultimately, to promote better health. The Internet can be an innovative tool to deliver services to 'hard-to-reach' population groups, including geographically isolated populations. However, the online platform raises questions regarding the equitable distribution of health services. In this paper we examine a case study of a website that aims to promote health by fostering social connectedness. The website provides information to connect people to locally based community events across Australia. We draw on evaluation findings to examine the socioeconomic and geographical distribution of website usage. A descriptive analysis of web usage statistics revealed a gradient whereby more information is listed and viewed about events in affluent socioeconomic areas. Furthermore, the analysis showed that a greater proportion of information listed and viewed related to urban areas. These results are consistent with broader gradients of Internet access and usage. Drawing on these findings, we identify implications for online health promotion across different population groups, particularly for interventions that do not incorporate an explicit equity focus.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)325-330
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
    Volume19
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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