Health consumers don't share online

While most people go searching online for medical and health information, far fewer of them are willing to offer their own feedback on doctors, hospitals or treatments.  That’s the conclusion of researchers from Brigham Young University who have found that many consumers are willing to take advice from review websites, but often do not share their own experiences.  And the scientists fear that this pattern could be skewing data.  With more than 60 percent of people going online looking for health information, it is, they say, paramount for as many people as possible to contribute to the dialogue in an effort to provide the most complete information.

The researchers used data from the 2010 Health Tracking Survey, part of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The survey asked 1,745 adults about their consumption of health information online and how often they posted themselves.  Where 41 percent read doctor, hospital and treatment reviews, only 10 percent contributed reviews of their own.  Only 15 percent posted comments, questions or other information in response to others' questions.

The study also found that women were more likely to go online for health information than men, as were those from higher-incomes brackets from urban and suburban neighborhoods.  Younger people were also more likely to go online for health information, and those with chronic diseases were twice as likely to use the Internet for health information as those who did not have such conditions.

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Sourced from: Live Science, Health Consumers Don't Give Back Online