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I know what you are going through": Answers to informational questions about eating disorders in Yahoo! Answers: A qualitative study

Bowler, L and Mattern, E and Jeng, W and Oh, JS and He, D (2013) I know what you are going through": Answers to informational questions about eating disorders in Yahoo! Answers: A qualitative study. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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The purpose of this study is to enrich our understanding of social question and answer (QandA) sites as a health information source for teens. To do so we investigated answers to 81 informational questions about eating disorders posted in Yahoo! Answers, a social QandA site. Through a content analysis, we found that users do not always respond to eating disorder questions with credible, factual information, even if the need for it was expressed in the question. The findings suggest that people who pose questions in Yahoo! Answers use it as a social and emotional scaffold rather than an informational source, even if their questions are couched in terms that suggest they are seeking information. Further, a large portion of the people who answer such questions understand this to be the purpose and rarely provide answers drawn from evidence-based medicine or reliable, credible sources for health information. Through the investigation of the answers to questions on a health topic that is prevalent amongst teens, this study deepens our understanding of the health information behavior of young people and the quality of the health information they find in Yahoo! Answers.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bowler, Llbowler@pitt.eduLBOWLER
Mattern, EEMM225@pitt.eduEMM2250000-0002-0421-0983
Jeng, Wwej9@pitt.eduWEJ9
Oh, JSjsoh@pitt.eduJSOH
He, Ddah44@pitt.eduDAH440000-0002-4645-8696
Date: 1 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting
Volume: 50
Number: 1
Event Type: Conference
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1002/meet.14505001057
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2015 14:14
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2019 14:59


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