A recent study by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) has found that the country’s youth are turning to the Internet to access information about health.
The study, Information and Monitoring Among Qatari Adolescents, provides an in-depth understanding of how Qatari youth acquire information about health issues of all kinds.
It found how the majority of teens turn to the internet and social media for health information.
Klaus Schoenbach, lead researcher and NU-Q senior associate dean, said: “Our study found that Qatari teens are turning to the internet to find solutions, cures and understand symptoms.
“However, the judgment and skills are often lacking to know how to assess and deal with the abundance of information they come across online.”
Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q, said: “This study, the first of its kind in Qatar, underscores the importance of ensuring that accurate, appropriate, and easily accessible health information is available to youth online.
“It also suggests the need to improve digital health literacy among Qatari adolescents.”
The study also found that social media, specifically Twitter, was found to be a popular source of health information.
A total of 20% of Qatari teens claim to seek health information online daily, while 40% do it weekly.