(NEW YORK) — Americans don’t like getting sick but they do love to diagnose their health problems, or those of others, by trolling the Internet for information.
According to a study of more than 3,000 respondents by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 35 percent of Americans consult websites to figure out what ails them, and of that group, about half wind up seeing a doctor.
In general, nearly six in ten respondents have used the Internet for health information during the past year, while a quarter of that group says they’ve hit a pay wall that basically made them look elsewhere or stopped their search, with only two percent paying a fee for more information.
Still, when it comes to more serious health concerns, nothing beats going to the doctor or another health professional, with 70 percent of adults saying they received answers, care or support from these medical experts.
Interestingly, 60 percent of the Pew respondents report consulting family members or friends for health information, while one in four have received assistance from others with similar conditions.
What hasn’t really taken off online are health care-related review sites that offer patient critiques and rankings of healthcare providers. Just 20 percent in the Pew poll said they used these particular services, and only three to four percent have actually written an online review of a doctor or another professional.
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