26% go directly to a site that focuses only on health-related topics; 12% goes first to a general site that focuses on many topics that may have a section on health issues.
Cyberchondriacs tend to be younger and they are better educated and more affluent than the general population.
E-health (the use of the Internet related to health and health care) continues to grow. Numbers of the public interested in getting information about particular diseases or treatments or about staying healthy.
The results also demonstrate the critical importance to health care websites of the need to be quickly and easily accessible through search engines and portals.
Most use a portal or search engine rather than by going directly to particular sites.
Pew Internet & American Life Project: Online Health Search in 2006
Telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates (August 1-31, 2006), among a sample of 2,928 adults, aged 18 and older in the United States.
80 % of American internet users (113 million adults), have searched for information on health each day.
66% begin their research on a search engine (Yahoo, Google)
53% of health seekers report that their most recent health information session [influenced] how they take care of themselves or someone else.
The use of the Internet for health purposes is increasing in Europe.
The Internet should be considered an important tool for policy makers shaping the future health care service.
It will be crucial to consider carefully how to exploit the media, in order not to consolidate or create new inequalities in health in Europe.
There is a need for further studies in this field, focusing on which kind of health services that might be provided through the Internet, and the characteristics of target group that could benefit the most of Internet-based health services.
Envision Solutions: Diving Deeper Into Online Health Search
Analyze online search habits is based on data provided by Hitwise. Envision Solutions conducted sixteen queries on Yahoo and Google (eight on each search engine) using the search terms it selected on December 7, 2006.
Americans looking for online health content are exposed to a significant amount of user-generated media (UGM). Wikipedia was the most frequently cited resource.
People are relying on government, corporate and non-profit produced Websites for health information. In certain cases, blogs and wikis are receiving significant traffic.