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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals' health information seeking is an important topic across multiple disciplines and areas. The aim of this systematic review is to create a holistic view of sexual and gender minority individuals' health information seeking reported in multidisciplinary studies, with regard to the types of health information LGBTQ+ individuals sought and information sources they used, as well as the factors influencing their health information seeking behavior.Design/methodology/approachThe review is based on the literature search in 10 major academic databases. A set of inclusion and exclusion criteria was applied to identify studies that provide evidence on LGBTQ+ individuals' health information seeking behavior. The studies were first screened by title and abstract to determine whether they met the inclusion criteria. The full texts of each relevant study were obtained to confirm whether the exclusion criteria were met. The reference lists of the included studies were manually scanned. The relevant information was then extracted from selected articles and analyzed using thematic content analysis.FindingsA seed set of 3,122 articles published between 1997 and 2020 was evaluated, and 46 total articles were considered for further analysis. The review results show that two major categories of health information sought by LGBTQ+ individuals were sexual and nonsexual, which were further classified into 17 specific types. In terms of health information sources, researchers have reported that online resources, interpersonal sources and traditional media were frequently used. Moreover, 25 factors affecting LGBTQ+ individuals' health information seeking were identified from the literature.Originality/valueThrough evidence-based understanding, this review preliminarily bridged the knowledge gap in understanding the status quo of studies on LGBTQ+ individuals' health information seeking and proposed the potential research directions that information science researchers could contribute to this important area.
Journal of Documentation – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 22, 2022
Keywords: LGBTQ+; Internet; Systematic review; Information source; Information behavior; Health information
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