Electronic communication channel use and health information source preferences among Latinos in Northern Manhattan

Hillyer, Grace A.; Schmitt, Karen M.; Lizardo, Maria; Reyes, Andria; Bazan, Mercedes; Alvarez, Maria C.; Sandoval, Rossy; Abdul, Kazeem; Orjuela, Manuela A.

Understanding key health concepts is crucial to participation in Precision Medicine initiatives. In order to assess methods to develop and disseminate a curriculum to educate community members in Northern Manhattan about Precision Medicine, clients from a local community-based organization were interviewed during 2014–2015. Health literacy, acculturation, use of Internet, email, and text messaging, and health information sources were assessed. Associations between age and outcomes were evaluated; multivariable analysis used to examine the relationship between participant characteristics and sources of health information. Of 497 interviewed, 29.4 % had inadequate health literacy and 53.6 % had access to the Internet, 43.9 % to email, and 45.3 % to text messaging. Having adequate health literacy was associated with seeking information from a healthcare professional (OR 2.59, 95 % CI 1.54–4.35) and from the Internet (OR 3.15, 95 % CI 1.97–5.04); having ≤ grade school education (OR 2.61, 95 % CI 1.32–5.17) also preferred information from their provider; persons >45 years (OR 0.29, 95 % CI 0.18–0.47) were less likely to use the Internet for health information and preferred printed media (OR 1.64, 95 % CI 1.07–2.50). Overall, electronic communication channel use was low and varied significantly by age with those ≤45 years more likely to utilize electronic channels. Preferred sources of health information also varied by age as well as by health literacy and educational level. This study demonstrates that to effectively communicate key Precision Medicine concepts, curriculum development for Latino community members of Northern Manhattan will require attention to health literacy, language preference and acculturation and incorporate more traditional communication channels for older community members.


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Also Published In

Journal of Community Health

More About This Work

Academic Units
Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Published Here
November 6, 2020