Identifying Consumers Who Search for Long-term Care on the Web: Latent Class Analysis
Journal of Medical Internet Research
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Background: Because the internet has become a primary means of communication in the long-term care (LTC) and health care industry, an elevated understanding of market segmentation among LTC consumers is an indispensable step to responding to the informational needs of consumers. Objective: This exploratory study was designed to identify underlying market segments of the LTC consumers who seek Web-based information. Methods: Data on US adult internet users (n=2018) were derived from 2010 Pew Internet and America Life Project. Latent class analysis was employed to identify underlying market segments of LTC Web-based information seekers. Results: Web-based LTC information seekers were classified into the following 2 subgroups: heavy and light Web-based information seekers. Overall, 1 in 4 heavy Web-based information seekers used the internet for LTC information, whereas only 2% of the light information seekers did so. The heavy information seekers were also significantly more likely than light users to search the internet for all other health information, such as a specific disease and treatment and medical facilities. The heavy Web-based information seekers were more likely to be younger, female, highly educated, chronic disease patients, caregivers, and frequent internet users in general than the light Web-based information seekers. Conclusions: To effectively communicate with their consumers, providers who target Web-based LTC information seekers can more carefully align their informational offerings with the specific needs of each subsegment of LTC markets.
Consumer health information; Information seeking behavior; Internet; Marketing of health services; Public reporting
Identifying Consumers Who Search for Long-term Care on the Web: Latent Class Analysis.
Journal of Medical Internet Research, 1(2),