Playing ‘Doctor’ Online? You Are Not Alone!

clip_image003Talk about healthcare and most people bank on the Internet! According to The Harris Poll survey, most cyberchondriacs (people looking for health information online) value and trust the health care information they read over the Internet, and this in turn leads to discussions with their doctors.

Some 11 years ago, one-quarter of all adults, i.e., 54 million people had gone online to look for health information. Today, the numbers have increased rapidly to some 67% of adults, i.e., 154 million people who had done this. Reports indicate that a large number of users find online health information reliable and many discuss it with their doctors.

Highlights from the report

  • 83% of cyberchondriacs said that their search for information online was successful and almost half (45%) say it was “very successful”.
  • 87% believe that this information was reliable, and 28% say it was “very reliable”.
  • 44% of cyberchondriacs have discussed information they obtained online with their doctors.
  • 49% of cyberchondriacs have searched for information online based on discussions they had with their doctors.

Cyberchondriacs Trends: 1998- 2009

image [Includes those online from home, office, school, library or other location + Based on July 2008 U.S. Census estimate released January 2009 (230,100,000 total U.S. adults aged 18 or over). NA = Not Asked]

Frequency of accessing health information online: 1998-2009

image [Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding *Includes those online from home, office, school, library or other location]

Success in searching for health information online


Reliability of searching for health information online


Have you ever searched for health information online? Are you a cyberchondriac? I know I am!