THE DETERMINANTS OF CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION ON CHRONIC NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASE: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY IN PENANG, MALAYSIA
The objective of the present study is to investigate the impact of socio-demographic factors on the acquisition of health information on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) among Malaysian adults. A robust analysis was conducted on cross-sectional survey data obtained from 398 respondents in Penang (Malaysia) between August to October 2010. An ordered probit model was applied to examine the factors affecting the scale of health information. The results suggest that old individuals, rural dwellers, having chronic disease and history of serious family illnesses are 0.19%, 2.39%, 2.2% and 2.71% less likely to acquire poor health information on NCDs than others, whereas Malays, Chinese, males and those of low educated are 8.76%, 6.22%, 2.94% and 21.62% more likely to acquire poor health information on NCDs than others. Based on these findings, several intervention measures toward increasing the health knowledge among the population are recommended, which include the use of language-based mass media to advertise the information on diseases, designing health awareness campaigns in urban areas and introducing more basic health related subjects and courses into primary and secondary schools.
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