The characteristics and conditions of growth and development have made adolescence one of the most vital and influential ages for prevention and health promotion, especially in the area of high-risk behaviors. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to determine adolescent health information seeking behavior related to high-risk behaviors in a selected educational district in Isfahan (Iran).
The present study was of an applied type, which was conducted using the survey research method. The statistical population consisted of adolescent students at public schools in Isfahan (6519 subjects), and the sample size was determined to be 364 based on Cochran's formula. The sampling method was of a cluster sampling type, and the data collection tool was a researcher-made questionnaire. The validity of the questionnaire was approved by medical librarians, and using the Cronbach's alpha method, the reliability was obtained to be 0.85. SPSS 16 software was used for data analysis at two statistical levels: descriptive and inferential (independent t-test, one-sample t-test, chi-square, Pearson correlation coefficient and Mann-Whitney).
"Lack of mobility" was the most important health information need related to adolescent high-risk behaviors. The most important sources to obtain health information related to high-risk behaviors were "the Internet" with a mean score of 3.69 and "virtual social media" with a mean score of 3.49 out of 5. Adolescents had a positive attitude towards health information. The most important barriers to seeking health information were mentioned as follows: "difficulty in determining the quality of information found", "absence of appropriate information", and "concerns about the disclosure of their problems or illness to others". From the perspective of adolescents, the most important criterion for the evaluation of information quality was "the trueness and correctness of the information" and the need for health information related to high-risk behaviors was higher in girls than in boys.
Considering adolescents’ positive attitude towards use of health information, it is necessary to put valid information at their disposal through different information resources, taking into account their level of information literacy. Accordingly, medical librarians’ abilities are suggested to be used for the production, evaluation, and introduction of health-related reading materials in the field of high-risk behaviors in easy language and suitable for adolescents.