The social life of health information
Americans’ pursuit of health takes place within a widening network of both online and offline sources. Whereas someone may have in the past called a health professional, their Mom, or a good friend, they now are also reading blogs, listening to podcasts, updating their social network profile, and posting comments. And many people, once they find health information online, talk with someone about it offline.
This Pew Internet/California HealthCare Foundation survey finds that technology is not an end, but a means to accelerate the pace of discovery, widen social networks, and sharpen the questions someone might ask when they do get to talk to a health professional. Technology can help to enable the human connection in health care and the internet is turning up the information networkâ€™s volume.
About the Survey
The findings in this report come from a national phone survey done by the Pew Research Centerâ€™s Internet & American Life Project in partnership with the California HealthCare Foundation. Some 2,253 adults, age 18 and older, were interviewed in December 2008 about the social impact of the internet on health care. The interviews were conducted in English or Spanish and included 502 cell-phone interviews.
– View report online
– Download report (72 pages)