Health and Technology

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 7–16 | Cite as

Explaining online health information seeking of foreign domestic workers: a test of the comprehensive model of information seeking

  • Jan Michael Alexandre C. BernadasEmail author
  • Li Crystal Jiang
Original Paper


By explaining online health information seeking in terms of health-related and information carrier factors, this study contributes in two ways to conversations about communication and technology in the context of migration health. First, it examines the heuristic value of the Comprehensive Model of Information Seeking (CMIS) on the internet. Second, it explores antecedents of online health information seeking by female foreign domestic workers (FDWs), one of the overlooked and vulnerable groups because they are often unfamiliar with the healthcare system in countries of destination and have limited financial and informational resources. Drawing empirical evidence from a survey with Filipino FDWs in Hong Kong (HK), this study suggests that CMIS can be extended to the online health information seeking of FDWs. Salience and trustworthiness positively influenced utility. Moreover, trustworthiness and utility figured significantly in why Filipino FDWs in HK seek online health information. Theoretical and programmatic implications for communication and technology regarding positive health behaviors among migrants are discussed.


Health communication Filipino domestic workers Hong Kong Online health information seeking Comprehensive model of information seeking 



The authors are thankful for the support of Mission for Migrant Workers and City University of Hong Kong. They are extremely grateful to Filipino female domestic workers in Hong Kong for their trust, time, and friendship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest related to this article.


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Copyright information

© IUPESM and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Michael Alexandre C. Bernadas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Li Crystal Jiang
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationDe La Salle UniversityManilaPhilippines
  2. 2.Department of Media and CommunicationCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong

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