Reproductive Health Information Seeking Matters: Predictors and Perceived Barriers among Young Peruvian Women

Hilda Patricia Garcia Cosavalente

Major Professor: Gary L. Kreps, PhD, Department of Communication

Committee Members: Xiaoquan Zhao, Kevin B. Wright

Off-Campus Location, off campus
July 31, 2020, 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM

Abstract:

This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the main predictors and perceived barriers of reproductive (modern contraception) health information seeking behavior of young Peruvian women. Through the use of an online survey, young Peruvian women aged 18-26 years old were invited to participate voluntarily in this research. Participants came from three colleges in Peru. The Comprehensive Model of Information seeking (CMIS) from Johnson and Meischke (1993) was tested. This model indicates that demographics, direct experience, salience and beliefs predict utility of information sources. The model also suggests that information-carrier characteristics (perceived trust and perceived utility) could influence health information seeking actions. Hypotheses related to these variables were tested. An important addition to the model was perceived barriers as beliefs. These are considered critical factors in the reproductive health information access in the Peruvian context. Path analysis with manifest variables was used to test the best fit between the data and the hypothesized model. Data analysis showed mixed results. Through a path analysis, the study drew attention to the direct effects of personal factors such as direct experience, efficacy beliefs and perceived risk on health information seeking among young women, and the role of perceived barriers in perceived utility of different information sources. Results could inform future health communication and public health campaigns in Peru.