Perceptions, Barriers, and Suggestions for Creation of a Tobacco and Health Website Among American Indian/Alaska Native College Students..


Information concerning American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Internet use and health information needs is dearth. Our research team explored Internet use among AI/AN college students to determine Internet use in relation to health information seeking behaviors. We used a tobacco site example for participants to describe what they desired in a health site designed specifically for AI/AN. Using a community-based participatory research approach, we conducted 14 focus groups with AI/AN college students (N = 108), to better understand their perceptions of and attitudes toward Internet use and health information needs. Daily Internet use was reported across strata yet health topics investigated differed among groups. Participants in all strata desired a health website that was easy to navigate and interactive. Respectful representation of Native culture was a concern, yet no consensus was reached for a multi-tribal audience. Participants felt a website should use caution with cultural depictions due to the possible misinterpretation. Overall, participants agreed that recreational and traditional tobacco use should be differentiated and the variation of traditional use among tribes acknowledged. Data concerning Internet use for health information among AI/AN college students are needed to establish baseline indicators to effectively address disparities..