December 2, 2017

NU-Q Study Explores Health Information Among Youth

Despite nation-wide efforts to educate Qatari adolescents about health conditions, a recent study by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) found that health campaigns in Qatar are less impressive for young Qataris than one would hope.
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The study, “Health Information and Monitoring Among Qatari Adolescents,” provides an in-depth understanding of how Qatari youth acquire information about health issues of all kinds. The results of the study were launched at a symposium held at NU-Q, with attendees from health institutions around Qatar, including the National Center for Cancer Care & Research, Qatar Cancer Society, Primary Health Care Corporation, Sidra Medicine, and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. This marked the first time that these organizations had come together to address the issue of health communication with adolescents.

Among the study’s key findings are that young people in Qatar still rely heavily on interpersonal sources of health information, including their parents, siblings, friends, and medical providers. Nevertheless, the vast majority of teens also turn to the internet and social media for health information – important sources that are somewhat neglected by major health campaigns.
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Schoenbach, an internationally known media researcher, collaborated with Ellen Wartella, an expert on children’s media and health and the Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Professor of Communication Psychology and Education at Northwestern University, and Salma Mawfek Khaled, assistant professor and survey researcher at Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI).

The study assessed results from interviews with more than 1,100 Qatari teenagers, aged 13 – 20 years. The interviews were administered in Arabic by the Social and Economic Research Institute (SESRI) staff at Qatar University.

The project received a $270,000 grant from the Qatar National Research Fund’s (QNRF) National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) - a grant program designed to foster a research culture in Qatar.

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