Exploring Health Information Sharing Behavior Among Chinese Older Adults : A Social Support Perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1824-1832
Journal / PublicationHealth Communication
Issue number14
Online published26 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


This study investigated the determinants of health information sharing behaviors of Chinese older adults living in rural areas. Drawing upon a widely used categorization of social support, we tested the effect of social embeddedness and perceived social support on health information sharing behavior, which is conceptualized as a type of enacted social support—informational support. Data were collected between June and August 2014 from 387 older Chinese adults aged 60–79 years in Linxi County of northern China. The results of hierarchical ordinary least squares regression analyses revealed that Chinese older adults’ perceived social support from families and social embeddedness were positively associated with health information sharing behavior, net of the influence of social demographic controls and health information seeking and scanning behaviors. Furthermore, health information sharing behavior was also found to be positively associated with health information seeking and scanning behaviors. Overall, this study enriched the existing literature on health information sharing behavior by taking a social support perspective. A number of practical implications were also discussed.