Fewer adults use media for health information

January 25, 2012

In a trend reversal, the proportion of American adults seeking health information from sources other than their physicians declined in 2010.

In a trend reversal, the proportion of American adults seeking health information from sources other than their physicians declined in 2010.

The proportion of adults using outside sources of information dropped to 50% in 2010, compared with 56% in 2007, according to a telephone survey from the Center for Studying Health System Change.

The use of the World Wide Web and friends and family as outside sources of information did not change meaningfully, but the percentage of those using books, magazines, and newspapers declined by nearly half to 18%.

Consumers who researched their health concerns generally reported positive results, including help in maintaining health and acquiring a better understanding of how to treat an illness or condition.