A survey taken by Wolters Kluwer Health bore some interesting results recently.

Consumers were asked: “When you find information online to help you diagnose or treat an illness, which of the following steps do you typically take to verify your diagnosis or treatment plan?

Trend results were similar in the age 35-54 category and for those over 55.

Poll Findings:

  • 77% of consumers obtaining online information to diagnose an illness or medical condition confirm that they would consult with or follow up with a physician to verify the diagnosis.
  • 40 percent of users prefer consulting family and friends to verify a self-diagnosis
  • Merely 8% of consumers feel that a self-diagnosis need to be verified with a physician.
  • While some research is done to see if any celebrities or well-known people have used the treatment that is read online, only 11% or less admit to having done so.

Interestingly, social media channels are not being utilized yet to help determine self diagnoses or verify treatment plans and therapy options. In all age categories questioned (age 18-34, 35-54 and 55+), a mere 9-10 percent are discussing it with others through social media.

With access to so many through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, it gives pause to wonder why usage of these channels has not caught up yet to the more traditional online methods of information retrieval.

Can it be a question of security or is it that one does not trust that the information is really being relayed by the people representing themselves?  What do you think is the reason? Share your comments below.