Title Internet use for mental health information and support among European university students: The e-MentH project
Authors Montagni, Ilaria, Donisi, Valeria, Tedeschi, Federico, Parizot, Isabelle, MOTRICO MARTINEZ , EMMA, Horgan, Aine, MOTRICO MARTINEZ , EMMA
External publication No
Means Digit. Health
Scope Article
Nature Científica
Area International
Publication date 01/01/2016
ISI 000441811800012
DOI 10.1177/2055207616653845
Abstract The aim of the present study was to describe the socio-demographic variables associated with the use of the Internet for mental health information-seeking by European university students, including participants' trust in the Internet, and their use of the Internet in comparison to traditional formal mental health care. A cross-sectional anonymous 25-item survey was conducted with 2466 students in three courses (Computer Science, Law, Nursing) from four European universities (France, Ireland, Italy, Spain). Participants were equally distributed in all four countries; they were mostly females (57.5%), with a mean age of 21.6 years. Overall, female, French and Nursing students were more likely to look for mental health information. The majority (69.7%) of students reported that information about mental health on the Internet was unreliable. Among all participants, Spanish students reported a higher trust in web content. The findings suggest that university students frequently use the Internet for mental health information-seeking but not for mental health support. Furthermore, they do not entirely trust the Internet for mental health-related issues. This should be considered in planning Internet-based programmes for mental health promotion and prevention in university students.
Keywords Internet; mental health; health literacy; online information; online support; university students; cross-country comparison
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