2014 Internet Use Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information about internet use in general, internet use for the purpose of finding health information and internet use to access the Halton Region website, among adults aged 18 and over living in Halton Region.

Background

Over the last 10-15 years, the internet has become a very important channel to distribute information to large populations.1 Today, governments and health organizations are providing and maintaining websites with health-related information for the public to easily access.1 Although this is very beneficial, internet users must be conscious of websites that are not reliable sources of information.2 Websites that are run and maintained by non-profit educational or medical organizations and government agencies are usually dependable sources of health-related information.2

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Key Findings

Internet Use Status

Trends Over Time

  • From 2001 to 2014 the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet increased from 71% to 88%. This increase was statistically significant.

Sex

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet.

Time Trend - Age

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet decreased with age. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 25-44 to adults aged 45-64 and aged 65+ and when comparing adults aged 45-64 to adults aged 65+.
  • From 2001 to 2014 the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet increased in all age groups. These increases were all statistically significant. The greatest increase was observed in Halton adults aged 65+ which increased from 27% to 75% between 2001 and 2014.

Municipality

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet.

Income

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet increased as income increased. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults in the low income group to adults in the middle and high income groups.

Education

  • In 2014, Halton adults aged 25 and over who were post-secondary graduates were more likely to report having used the internet compared to adults who were not post-secondary graduates. This difference was statistically significant.

Use of Internet to Access Health-Related Information

Trends Over Time

  • In 2014, 74% of Halton adults reported using the internet to access health-related information.
  • From 2001 to 2014 the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet to access health-related information increased from 35% to 74% and this increase was statistically significant.

Sex

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet to access health-related information.

Age

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet to access health-related information decreased with age. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 25-44 to adults aged 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet to access health-related information.

Income

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who reported using the internet to access health-related information increased as income increased. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults in the low income group to adults in the middle and high income groups.

Education

  • In 2014, Halton adults aged 25 and over who were post-secondary graduates were more likely to report having used the internet to access health-related information compared to adults who were not post-secondary graduates. This difference was statistically significant.

Accessing Halton Region’s Website

Trends Over Time

  • From 2001 to 2014 the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website increased from 10% to 22% and this increase was statistically significant.

Sex

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website.

Age

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website decreased with age. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 25-44 to adults aged 65+ and when comparing adults aged 45-64 to adults aged 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website.

Income

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website.

Education

  • In 2014, Halton adults aged 25 and over who were post-secondary graduates were more likely to report accessing Halton Region’s website compared to adults who were not post-secondary graduates. This difference was statistically significant.

Accessing Halton Region’s website for Health-Related Information

Overall Findings

  • In 2014, 18% of Halton adults reported accessing Halton Region’s website for health-related information.

Sex

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website for health-related information.

Age

  • In 2014, the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website for health-related information decreased with age. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 25-44 to adults aged 65+ and when comparing adults aged 45-64 to adults aged 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website for health-related information.

Income

  • In 2014, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported accessing Halton Region’s website for health-related information.

Education

  • In 2014, Halton adults aged 25 and over who were post-secondary graduates were more likely to report accessing Halton Region’s website for health-related information compared to adults who were not post-secondary graduates. This difference was statistically significant. 

References

  1. Curtis, L., & Zhang, S. (2007). Utilization of Online Health Information. Retrieved June 2015, from http://www.nihi.ca/nihi/hitalks/research/2006-2007/04-11-2007/default.pdf.
  2. Evaluating Health Information Online. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2015, from http://www.cpha.ca/en/programs/portals/h-l/web.aspx.