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Korean J Fam Med. 2009 Jun;30(6):426-439. Korean. Original Article.
Kim HJ , Joh HK , Kwon HK , Do HJ , Oh SW , Lym YL , Choi JK , Kweon HJ , Cho DY .
Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Recently, the mass media serves a major role in the public health education, but have not been proven whether they are being appropriately utilized in the elderly. The aim of this study was to identify the elderly person's concern in the mass media health information and utilization behavior. METHODS: Between March to June 2008, one to one survey with the elderly people over 60 years was performed in two elderly welfare centers, one public health center, and two secondary hospitals outpatients and inpatients in Seoul and Chungju. RESULTS: A total of 999 subjects were included. By multivariate analysis, factors significantly associated with low concern in the mass media health information were low educational level, non-exercise group, and low concern in own health (P = 0.001, 0.009, < 0.001, respectively). The most frequently utilized health information source was the mass media. By comparing the frequency of health information utilization, women, low educational level, low income, non-exercise group, underweight, low level of self-evaluated health status, and low concern in health information were significantly associated with the lowest quintile of utilization (P value: < 0.001, 0.005, 0.05, < 0.001, 0.002, 0.03, 0.005, respectively). However, the presence of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, had no association. CONCLUSION: In community-dwelling elderly, important factors associated with concern in and utilization of the mass media health information were concern in health, self-evaluated health status, exercise status and socioeconomic factors such as education or income level, rather than comorbid chronic disease.

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