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Table 2 Adolescents’ search and appraisal strategies

From: Adolescents’ self-efficacy and digital health literacy: a cross-sectional mixed methods study

  Search/appraisal stage Strategies Percentage and number (n) who demonstrated strategy in search task (n = 21)
Starting search Search engine selection Using Google or default search engine 100 (21)
Aim To identify specific condition/cause 57.1 (12)
  To identify treatment 28.6 (6)
  To identify general information 14.3 (3)
Motivation To gather information  
  For validation/reassurance  
Search terms Phrasing symptoms into question 57.1 (12)
  Using symptoms for a key word search 23.8 (5)
  Boolean terms 4.8 (1)
Selection of information Selecting relevant result Scanning for key words in search result page  
Scanning for “health” or “medical” in search result page  
Selecting trustworthy result Selecting website over social media 95.2 (20)
Selecting Google Featured Snippet 52.4 (11)
Selecting top search result (excluding Featured Snippets) 33.3 (7)
Avoiding ads or sponsored websites 100 (21)
Selecting .gov rather than .com 23.8 (5)
Selecting other official websites 47.6 (10)
Selecting familiar websites 23.8 (5)
Appraisal of information Appraising trustworthiness Considering layout and design 33.3 (7)
  Considering author 28.6 (6)
  Cross-checking 95.2 (20)
Understanding Searching difficult or confusing terms 23.8 (5)
Appraising relevance Dismissing information about severe disease 28.6 (6)
Ending search Finishing search After cross-checking 95.2 (20)
  When satisfied with findings 100 (21)