Health information seekers in Japan: A snapshot of needs, behavior, and recognition in 2008

Yukiko Sakai, Chihiro Kunimoto Prof., Keiko Kurata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the latest information-seeking behavior among health care consumers in Japan and to compare these behaviors with those recorded in similar surveys administered in Japan and the United States after 2000. Method: The authors conducted a randomized, population-based, door-to-door survey in 2008. A total of 1,200 Japanese adults over 15 years of age completed the questionnaire. Main Results: The results from 1,189 valid responses indicated that slightly more than half the number of participants had actively sought health information during the previous 2 years. Most seekers looked for information on a specific disease. "Physicians" remained the respondents' first choice as an information source, while "Internet" has gained greater popularity as a resource since the previous survey in 2000. Half the number of participants stated that they were willing to read academic or professional medical journal articles if written in Japanese and provided free of charge. Conclusion: The evidence indicates that Japanese health care consumers are now proactively seeking health information. These consumers feel reassured by the information they can access and would like to read clinical research in their native language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Medical Library Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Library and Information Sciences


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