Critical.
Authoritative.
Strategic.
Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

'Cyberchondriacs' jump to almost one-third of all adults

Most users very satisfied with their ability to find reliable health information online

The number of adults using the Internet to find health-related information leaped from 154 million in 2009 to 175 million this year, according to a Harris Interactive poll released today. It's the largest year-over-year increase since the poll began in 1998.

The new poll shows that 32% of adults say they regularly look online for health-related information compared with 22% last year.

According to the poll, the number of "cyberchondriacs," as Harris calls them, or those who regularly go online to search for health information, has increased more than three-fold from 50 million people in 1998, when Harris first conducted its survey. By 2005, the number of cyberchondriacs had risen to 117 million. In the new poll, Harris speculated that the more dramatic jump in users may be the result of the health care reform debate.

The telephone poll of 1,066 adults 18 years old or older was conducted between July 13 and July 18. The poll showed that the number of people who go online -- 79% -- has not changed significantly over the past several years, but the proportion of those who have used the Internet to look for health information increased to an all-time high of 88% this year. Eighty-one percent of cyberchondriacs indicated they went online over the past month for health information, and 17% said they've searched the Web 10 or more times in the last month.

Most of the cyberchondriacs also indicated they are very happy with their ability to find what they're looking for online. Only 9% said they were somewhat or very unsuccessful at finding what they needed. Eight percent said the information they found was unreliable.

More than half of the cyberchondriacs -- 53% -- said they used online health information in discussions with their doctors and about half also said they searched for information on the Internet based on discussions with physicians.

"These findings show that, with every passing year, more and more people are using the Internet to look for health information and that the overwhelming majority of these Cyberchondriacs are finding what they want online," Harris stated.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: Harris Interactive
Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: e-commerce, harris, storage, health care, internet, industry verticals
Latest Blog Posts
Whitepapers
  • How to Successfully Select an ERP System
    An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a series of software applications that collect and compiles data from different departments to enhance collaboration and co-ordination within the business. If you’re looking to implement your first ERP system, or to upgrade from an existing system, this whitepaper offers eight simple steps for selection that will lead to long-term strategic success.
    Learn more »
  • Top 10 reasons to strengthen information security with desktop virtualization
    This paper discusses: • The growing challenge of maintaining information security in today’s evolving enterprise environment • Key advantages of desktop virtualization as an inherently more secure computing architecture • The top ten benefits of using desktop virtualization to strengthen information security • And how you can regain control and reduce risk without sacrificing business productivity and growth
    Learn more »
  • Cloud for Business Managers in Midsize Organisations: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly
    Read this independent research report to learn how business managers around the world are using Cloud applications. Discover the top motivations for adopting the Cloud, the most common problems and recurring pitfalls; common barriers to Cloud application integration and the consequences of security breaches and compliance issues.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Latest Jobs
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments