Where you go and whom you ask? A study of source selection and usage in Chinese international students' health information behavior
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Past literature has established that international students underutilized university health and counseling services despite of the perceived health needs and special health problems arise from the acculturation process. The gap between perceived needs and subsequent health information seeking actions has been found to be especially significant in the Chinese international student subgroup. This study looks into Chinese international students' source selection decisions and influencing factors in the process of health information seeking, and employs qualitative template analysis method built upon the theoretical framework of Comprehensive Model of Information Seeking (CMIS). Analysis reveals a set of user and source related factors and evaluative criteria used in decision-making including source quality, availability, understandability, cultural sensitivity and relevancy and utility. The least-effort principle is supported, while language and cultural dimensions are also found to mediate the cost-benefit analysis by affecting relevancy judgment, which altogether result in the prioritization of self-care methods and the underutilization of professional healthcare sources.