Computer use, internet access, and online health searching among Harlem adults

Alwyn T. Cohall, Andrea Nye, Joyce Moon-Howard, Rita Kukafka, Bonnie Dye, Roger D. Vaughan, Mary Northridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. Computer use, Internet access, and online searching for health information were assessed toward enhancing Internet use for health promotion. Design. Cross-sectional random digit dial landline phone survey. Setting. Eight zip codes that comprised Central Harlem/Hamilton Heights and East Harlem in New York City. Subjects. Adults 18 years and older (N = 646). Measures. Demographic characteristics, computer use, Internet access, and online searching for health information. Analysis. Frequencies for categorical variables and means and standard deviations for continuous variables were calculated and compared with analogous findings reported in national surveys from similar time periods. Results. Among Harlem adults, ever computer use and current Internet use were 77% and 52%, respectively. High-speed home Internet connections were somewhat lower for Harlem adults than for U.S. adults overall (43% vs. 68%). Current Internet users in Harlem were more likely to be younger, white vs. black or Hispanic, better educated, and in better self-reported health than non-current users (p < .01). Of those who reported searching online for health information, 74% sought information on medical problems and thought that information found on the Internet affected the way they eat (47%) or exercise (44%). Conclusions. Many Harlem adults currently use the Internet to search for health information. High-speed connections and culturally relevant materials may facilitate health information searching for underserved groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2011


  • Communication
  • Health Education
  • Health Promotion
  • Media
  • Prevention Research
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Urban Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Computer use, internet access, and online health searching among Harlem adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this