Users’ Perception and Utility of Health Information Based on WeChat

Juan CHEN, Xiaorong HOU, Wenlong ZHAO, Yang FU


Objective: To explore the ability of users to identify the health information spread on WeChat platform, and then to discuss the utility of such information on
Methods: Questionnaire survey and descriptive statistical methods were used to collect and analyze the data. The process of “get health related information, judge true or false, production related behavior” was used to design the survey problem, finally, the paper and network surveys were investigated in users.
Results: The proportion of accurate recognition, ambiguous recognition, none recognition and none classification were 21.55%, 63.26%, 4.41%, 10.78% respectively. The average frequency of identification, transmission, guidance and none behavior of originally true health information were 52.00, 78.40, 45.20, 31.80 respectively, and originally false health information were 21.30, 27.70, 14.10, 5.50 respectively.
Conclusions: Most WeChat users surveyed lack the ability to accurately identify the authenticity of health information, and improvement of citizens’ health literacy has long way to go. WeChat is an effective platform for the dissemination of health information, but also provides a fertile soil for the spread of false health information. Additionally, users are not aware of the problem of their ability to identify information, even if produced a false judgment of false health information, most of the active users will also lead this kind of information still widely spread.


Health information; Information perception; Information utility; WeChat

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