Categories

Tag: Pew Research Center on Internet and Technology

The Social Life of Health Information

“I don’t know, but I can try to find out” is the default setting for people with health questions.

The internet has changed people’s relationships with information. Data collected by the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation consistently show that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals continue to be the first choice for most people with health concerns, but online resources, including advice from peers, are a significant source of health information in the U.S.

These findings are based on a national telephone survey conducted in August and September 2010 among 3,001 adults in the U.S., with interviews conducted in either English or Spanish and including 1,000 cell phone interviews. The full report, “The Social Life of Health Information, 2011,” is available at pewinternet.org.

The survey finds that, of the 74% of adults who use the internet:

  • 80% of internet users have looked online for information about any of 15 health topics such as a specific disease or treatment. This translates to 59% of all adults.
  • 34% of internet users, or 25% of adults, have read someone else’s commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online news group, website, or blog.
  • 25% of internet users, or 19% of adults, have watched an online video about health or medical issues.
  • 24% of internet users, or 18% of adults, have consulted online reviews of particular drugs or medical treatments.
  • 18% of internet users, or 13% of adults, have gone online to find others who might have health concerns similar to theirs.
  • 16% of internet users, or 12% of adults, have consulted online rankings or reviews of doctors or other providers.
  • 15% of internet users, or 11% of adults, have consulted online rankings or reviews of hospitals or other medical facilities.Continue reading…