When you’re looking for health information, where do you turn? Do you make an appointment with your doctor? Ask friends and family? Consult WebMD?
A new survey from the National Research Corporation shows that more and more people are turning to online social networks like Facebook and YouTube for health information. In fact, 41% of the nearly 23,000 people surveyed reported using social media as a source for health information.
Of the 41% who turned to social media:
- 94% consulted Facebook;
- 32% turned to YouTube;
- 18% used Twitter or Myspace;
- and 2% utilized FourSquare.
Some of the survey’s findings were especially interesting—despite the perception that social media skews younger, the respondents who used social media averaged 41 years of age. Those in more affluent households—earning more than $75,000 annually—were more likely to turn to social media than households earning less.
CNN reported that many of the patients turning to social media have rare diseases, and that social networks allow them to develop a support group
Have you turned to social media for health information? Despite social media’s influence, 50% of respondents named hospital websites as the best source of online health care information. The survey found that only one in four people using social networks for health information were “very likely” or “likely” to make future decisions based on what they found– has what you’ve found affected future health decisions?