Media and Technology Use Among Hispanics/Latinos in New York: Implications for Health Communication Programs
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There is limited information about media and technology use, as well as health information-seeking patterns, specifically for Hispanics/Latinos at the state level. An understanding of access, usage patterns, and preferences for receiving health information is critical for state-level organizations to effectively reach and serve this growing population.
A telephone survey was developed to assess media and technology access, use patterns, health-seeking information patterns, and preferences for receiving health information. The survey was conducted in New York state from August 8 to November 4, 2013, using random digit dialing. The overall sample of 1350 included 412 Hispanic/Latino adults who are the focus of this study.
Most Hispanic/Latino respondents reported having at least one working computer at home (78 %) and using the Internet (84 %); almost all who had a computer reported having high-speed Internet service (90 %). Cell phone ownership was common (88 %), and many had a smartphone (71 %). Activities most likely to occur several times per day were sending text messages (61 %), using phone apps (49 %), using a search engine (40 %), using email (34 %), and using social networking sites (32 %). The most preferred channels of receiving health information were websites, mail, and television. Older respondents were significantly less likely to have the technologies, engage in technology activities, and prefer newer forms of information dissemination (i.e., text messages). Education and income were important predictors in some cases.
While most Hispanics/Latinos have access to various technologies, the reason for using those technologies and preferences for receiving health information most often varies by age and, sometimes, by education and income. Older adults tend to seek health information from traditional sources such as television and brochures, while younger adults favored newer technologies. Knowing preferences of the population can help ensure proper media channels are selected for dissemination of health information to Hispanic/Latino communities.
KeywordsHispanic Latino Media New York Internet Health information
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This research was funded by the New York State Department of Health, Office of Minority Health, and Health Disparities Prevention.
Conflict of Interest
Author 1 received salary support from the funder to lead the study. Authors 2, 3, and 4 work for the funder. Author 5 has no conflict of interest to disclose.
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was not obtained because this study was considered exempt by the IRB.
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