This study investigates the health information-seeking behaviours of women in Qatar, to identify sources and resources used to obtain health information, and particularly whether women used libraries as a source of health information. An online survey questionnaire was used to explore health information-seeking behaviour among adult women (aged 18 years or over) living in Qatar.

Results were obtained from 1150 participants. Most were confident in their health information-seeking behaviors: they understood how to use the information to improve their health, were able to find reliable health information, and could discuss their health with their doctor. More than half (55.11%) obtained information about staying healthy from reading, watching educational videos, and online searches. The most commonly used sources of health information were search engines such as Google and Yahoo (43.37%). Internet use was higher among younger and more educated women. About threequarters (74.50%) of the participants did not use libraries to obtain health information.

Both Qatari and non-Qatari women were active seekers of health information, especially from online sources. Future studies need to consider how to involve older people, or those without internet access, and use more qualitative data, perhaps from interviews, to improve understanding of behaviours. Future studies might also examine whether married respondents, or those with children, adopted different behaviors. The study suggests that public libraries need to market their services, including online resources, and educate the public on how to evaluate online sources of information.


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