February 11, 2008

Health Information-Seeking on a Typical Day

Since a press release about a new study from MD Anderson Cancer Center cites our health data, I thought I’d provide a few links to relevant reports.

Here is the quote from our 2002 report, Vital Decisions, which was cited today: “In a national survey conducted March 1-31, 2002, the Pew Internet Project found that 62% of Internet users, or 73 million people in the United States, have gone online in search of health information… About 6 million Americans go online for medical advice on a typical day. That means more people go online for medical advice on any given day than actually visit health professionals, according to figures provided by the American Medical Association.”

A more recent estimate is included in Online Health Search 2006: “Eighty percent of American internet users, or some 113 million adults, have searched for information on at least one of seventeen health topics… 7% of e-patients, or about 8 million American adults, searched for information on at least one health topic on a typical day in August 2006. This places health searches at about the same level of popularity on a typical day as paying bills online, reading blogs, or using the internet to look up a phone number or address.”

If you are interested in the findings of today’s study, which was published in the journal Cancer, there is an audio interview with the lead author, Funda Meric-Bernstam, M.D., on Medpage Today.