Michael J. Sacopulos, Esq.

Earlier this year, the Pew Internet and American Life Project released “The Social Life of Health Information, 2011.” The study was based upon telephone surveys conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Although the full report is approximately forty five pages in length, here are some interesting highlights:

  • Eighty percent of internet users have looked online for information about any of fifteen health topics such as a specific disease or treatment. This translates into fifty nine percent of all adults in the United States. Sixteen percent of internet users, or twelve percent of adults have consulted online ratings or reviews of doctors or other providers. Eleven percent of social network site users, or five percent of adults, have posted comments, queries, or information about health or medical matters.
  • Four percent of internet users, or three percent of adults, have posted a review online of a doctor. Thirty four percent of internet users or twenty five percent of adults have read someone else’s commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online newsgroup, website, or blog.

The study’s summary of findings ends with the following quote: “The social life of health information is robust. The online conversation about health is being driven forward by two forces; one, the availability of social tools and; two, the motivation especially among people living with chronic conditions to connect with each other.” With more than three thousand individuals surveyed, “The Social Life of Health Information, 2011″ offers a valuable insight to the importance online health information resources, and physician rankings. The report may be viewed in its entirety here.