Veterinarians' information Prescription and Clients' eHealth Literacy
Introduction: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between pet owner’s combined knowledge, comfort, and perceived skills at finding, evaluating, applying online pet health information, and the application of the information prescription (IP) provided for pet owners education on the internet.
Methods: Thirty telephone interviews were conducted followed by a questionnaire of eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) with pet owners after receiving an IP with a suggested websites in addition to their customary veterinary services in a vet clinic at the center of Tehran, Iran. Qualitative and quantitative data were merged to explore differences and similarities among respondents with different eHealth literacy levels.
Results: Results indicate that pet owners with higher score of eHealth literacy more accessed the suggested websites and reported positive feelings about this addition to their veterinary services. Similarly, among the eight-item self-reported eHealth Literacy skills, perceived skills at evaluating and applying, were significantly associated with the use of IPs. Lastly eHealth literacy level was significantly associated with the outcomes of prescribed information, such as veterinarians-client communication outcome and learning outcomes.
Conclusion: Disparities in application of the veterinarian’s IPs for online pet healthcare information, and its outcomes are associated with different eHealth literacy skills. Veterinarians should collaborate with information specialists and librarians to perform education efforts to raise awareness on online pet health information quality and impact of veterinarian directed information prescription especially among low health literate owners.
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