Background: In order to provide a better healthcare education to the society, health care students should have an acceptable electronic health (E-Health) literacy. 

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the level of E-Health literacy of Medicine and Health Sciences university students in Mashhad, Iran.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 192 students of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences using a validated Persian translate of the E-Health literacy scale (P-EHEALS) questionnaire in 2016. Demographic data including age, monthly income, level of education, preference of website for obtaining health related information and minutes of Internet use per day were obtained from the subjects. Independent-samples t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for comparison between groups, and Pearson correlation coefficient and linear regression were used to assess the correlation between study parameters and EHEALS score using SPSS version 21.

Results: A total of 192 (67.2% female and 32.8% male) subjects with mean age of 24.71±5.30 years participated in the study. Mean P-EHEALS score of the subjects was 28.21±6.95. There was a significant difference in P-EHEALS score between genders (p<0.001), department (p=0.001), education level (p<0.001) and health status (p=0.003) as well as monthly income (p=0.03), website preference categories (p=0.02). Male students were significantly more likely to gain higher P-EHEALS scores. 

Conclusion: The level of E-Health literacy was low in Medical and Health Sciences university students in Mashhad. More studies are needed to assess the contributors to E-Health literacy.


Keywords: e-Health literacy, Iran, University students, Internet, EHEALS
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