Self-reported eHealth literacy skills among nursing students in Sri Lanka: A cross-sectional study.


Department of Nursing, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : As nursing students are the future workforce in nursing, they should have the necessary skills to find, understand and apply health information available on electronic platforms into their practice.
OBJECTIVE : To assess eHealth literacy skills and associated factors among nursing students.
METHODS : Cross-sectional survey.
METHODS : A Government School of Nursing, Sri Lanka.
METHODS : A purposive sample of 440 nursing students.
METHODS : A self-administered questionnaire consisting of socio-demographic data, the questions related to the internet use and eHealth Literacy skills was used. In data analysis, descriptive statistics, the Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis H test were applied.
RESULTS : The sample consisted of 440 nursing students (420 females and 20 males). The mean eHealth literacy score was 28.02 (SD ± 4.60). Nearly half of the respondents (49.4%) reported inadequate eHealth literacy skills. The respondents reported comparatively poor skills in differentiating high-quality health resources from low-quality health resources on the internet and the ability to use information from the internet to make health decisions. The majority viewed that including information technology (IT) as a subject into the nursing curriculum was very (50.7%) or absolutely (33.6%) important. The influencing factors of eHealth literacy skills of nursing students were self-rated internet skills (P = < 0.001), perception towards using the internet in health decision making (P = 0.009) and using the internet to access health resources (P = 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS : Half of the nursing students have inadequate eHealth literacy skills, particularly skills in identifying trusted health resources and using this information in health decision making indicating the need for improving eHealth literacy skills among nursing students. A positive attitude towards the internet has a significant role in developing eHealth literacy skills. Improving competencies in eHealth literacy skills of nursing students is essential. Introducing these concepts into curricula, planning target interventions, and enhancing IT facilities within the educational environment are essential.


Internet,Nursing students,Sri Lanka,eHealth literacy,