Feeds

Survey: US becomes nation of cyberchondriacs

Paging Dr Internet

High performance access to file storage

Almost two thirds of all US adults have been identified as "cyberchondriacs" in a new Harris poll tracking the number of people looking up health information online.

The survey found that after three years of modest growth, the number of adults asking Dr Google for advice had jumped by 16 per cent, to 136m. The researchers say that part of this rise has been caused by a significant increase in the number of Americans with access to the internet - now standing at 77 per cent of all adults.

Of these, 80 per cent have looked up medical conditions online, up from 72 per cent in 2005, and six in 10 say they often use the web for this purpose.

The average cyberchondriac, Harris says, searches the web for information five times a month. But these net users are also becoming more savvy, with the number of people describing the information they find as "very reliable" falling from 37 per cent in 2005 to just 25 per cent this year.

Despite this, most users say their searching did turn up the information they were looking for, perhaps accounting for a small drop in the number of people who say they discuss their findings with their doctors. This fell from 57 per cent in 2005 to 52 per cent in 2006.

The cyberchondriac is apparently less likely to search the web to check on their doctor's advice. Just 45 per cent of those surveyed said they would use the net for further research following a chat with their doctor, down seven per cent on last year.

Harris bases its findings on telephone interviews with 1,020 adults in the USA. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.