Exploring the Information behaviour of expectant and new mothers: a longitudinal study

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Mahony, Carolanne
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University College Cork
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The rise in online information-seeking raises important questions for information systems researchers, such as how can we tailor information resources to meet the needs of diverse user groups? The study of information behaviour may be able to provide the answers. Information behaviour is the study of human interaction with information resources, the influencers of that interaction, and how information is processed and used. Information behaviour studies place the user at the centre of the investigation. To-date, information processing and use is one area of information behaviour where uncertainty exists, caused by inconsistent defining terminology and a dearth of empirical investigation. This thesis presents an adapted health information behaviour model, a revised version of Wilson (1997). The model highlights the iterative nature of information behaviour while explicating information processing and use. The model is evaluated using a prospective longitudinal case study of expectant and new mothers. As a user group, they are a challenge for information providers attempting to judge their information resource requirements. Expectant and new mothers seek and consume a diverse range of topics from a variety of resources. They do not just seek information for themselves, expectant and new mothers also seek information concerning the health and well-being of their families. The objective of this thesis is identifying design guidelines for eHealth information resources for expectant and new mothers. This is achieved by understanding how expectant and new mothers process information resources. For the purpose of this research, information processing is determined through an analysis of the subjective assessment criteria used to evaluate and compare different information resources. This thesis illustrates connections between subjective assessment criteria and other areas of information behaviour, such as information use outcomes and task type. The longitudinal nature of the study affords the opportunity to observe changes in information behaviour over time.
Longitudinal , Qualitative , Pregnancy , Information behaviour , Information systems , Information science , Information processing , Information use , Health information-seeking , Information-seeking , Health information behaviour , New mother
Mahony, C. 2017. Exploring the Information behaviour of expectant and new mothers: a longitudinal study. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.