Completely isolated? Health information seeking among social isolates

Health Educ Behav. 2011 Apr;38(2):116-22. doi: 10.1177/1090198110369055.


To better target messages it is important to determine where people seek their health information. Interpersonal networks are a common way most people gather health information, but some people have limited networks. Using data from the 2004 General Social Survey (N=984), we compared social isolates and nonisolates in their health information—seeking behaviors. Results indicate that those with limited social networks are less likely to use interpersonal communication to seek health information and are also less likely to use mediated channels. The results suggest that isolates may also be suffering from a health knowledge gap.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Literacy*
  • Humans
  • Information Seeking Behavior*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Isolation*
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult