Health Literacy and Online Health Discussions of North American Black Women
Women & Health
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Purpose: Women increasingly use the Internet for healthcare information. This pilot study examined the use of online chat rooms as a potential health promotion resource for women of color. Design: A directed qualitative content analysis assessed discussions (2002/2003 and 2004/2005) from two Internet chat rooms targeted to North American, English-speaking Black women. Methods: Verbatim transcripts were assessed using Nutbeam's (2001) model of health literacy. Results: Chat 1 and Chat 2 had 18 and 54 messages, respectively. Transcript readability was below grade 8 level. Discussions provided information on healthy behaviors, social support, and provocation for political action. Conclusions: The chat rooms provided health promotion information and social support at recommended readability levels and are illustrative of contemporary reorientation of health promotion services.