Electronic health tools are of little use if the intended user lacks the skills to effectively engage them. Engaging eHealth requires a skill set, or literacy, of its own. The present study is an effort to probe the relationship of education and Institution (Independent Variables) with the usage and expertise in eHealth literacy (Dependent Variables) among university students. The research is conducted in 16 Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan’s recognized universities in Lahore. Both male and female students ranging from BS to PhD programs were the focus of the research.
Quantitative data was collected through survey method using stratified random sampling technique. There were different kinds of strata in population i.e. general universities, health sciences universities, engineering universities and animal sciences universities etc. The research encompassed a total of 89,664 students in 16 universities, from which sample size of 1513 was drawn through research advisor table (2006). Proportional allocation formula was used to specify the number of respondents from each university. Non-parametric statistics was used since data was not normally distributed. Kruskal-Wallis H test and Mann-Whitney U test were applied to measure the difference of effect of groups of independent variables on the dependent variables.
The level of using digital health literacy was not same for all students, as the students of PhD and BS/Masters were significantly different from each other in terms of their usage of digital health literacy. Level of education showed a significant influence on level of expertise in eHealth literacy, confirming that changing the level of education had an effect on level of expertise in digital health literacy, but the size of effect was smaller. MS/MPhil and PhD students were significantly different from each other in their expertise in digital health literacy.
Results of the study depicted that belonging to different categories of educational levels differently affect the level of usage and that of expertise in digital health literacy among university students.