Introduction. This paper presents findings from part of a larger interdisciplinary research project carried out in our University (2014-2015) regarding the flow of information and communication between healthcare services and young people in vulnerable communities. It focuses on information mediators of healthcare services and their role between health information and adolescents in a small city –Paysandú- . It compares the results with those obtained during the implementation of a project carried out in a deprived area of the capital city of Montevideo (2010-2012). The theoretical and methodological framework can be divided in three axes: information policies towards the community; the role of social mediators as ‘transmission belts’ as well as the theories about everyday life information seeking (ELIS) and the ‘small worlds’ of young people.
Method. The study is based on eight in-depth interviews to healthcare personnel.
Analysis. The interviews are analyzed following a qualitative methodology of the first project according to flexible and open guidelines. New categories emerged through discourse analysis based on the grounded theory approach.
Results. The results illustrate the relevance of the spaces and of the social mediators as a channel to disseminate information; the barriers and motivators of communication; the information resources need to meet some desirable features necessaries for the information to be inclusive.
Conclusion. This comparative research confirms the results obtained in a previous investigation done by this researcher and her team in the same line of work: information behaviour of adolescents in vulnerable conditions and the role of social mediators. The conclusions deep in this line of investigation based on comparing data from both previous investigations. This fact allows for its use in comparative studies done by other researchers in different countries, which present similar realities.
Keywords. Information behaviour, mediators, social mediators, youth, social inclusion, health information, Uruguay
Paper is published in Information Research 21(4): Social mediators and inclusive information: communication flow of healthcare information among adolescents in vulnerable communities