Research indicates consumers lack adequate information about the mercury content of fish to make informed choices about eating fish. Information technology can be used to fulfill this unmet information need. To examine this matter, a two-part study was conducted using a convenience sample of fish eaters. Three-hundred forty-one participants responded to this on-line study. The Theory of Planned Behavior served as the framework for a one-group, pre-test-post-test design to investigate the effect of a web-based mercury calculator on perceived behavioral control and simulated fish choices. Results of McNemar tests showed a significant increase in the number of high knowledge participants after using the mercury calculator (p=.001) and a significant decrease in the number of participants who selected high mercury fish (p=.036). Results of logistic regression showed perceived behavioral control was not predictive of making healthy fish choices. Next, a cross-sectional design was used to collect data about fish consumers’ acceptance of the mercury calculator. Using constructs from the Technology Acceptance Model, the model theorized the relationships among perceived ease-of-use, perceived usefulness, age, sex, education level, decision-making, and frequency of fish consumption on intent to use the mercury calculator. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the model. Findings showed significantly positive relationships between perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness, sex and perceived usefulness, decision-making and perceived usefulness, and perceived usefulness and intent to use the mercury calculator. Findings suggest consumer health information technology can be used to reduce mercury exposure in consumers who eat fish. This study also finds that fish consumers will accept using a web-based mercury calculator to reduce a health risk.
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Information Technology, Nursing, Public health|
|Keywords:||Fish consumption, Health risk reduction, Mercury calculator, Mercury exposure, Mercury toxicity|
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