Monday, February 28, 2011

New report alert: Peer-to-Peer Healthcare

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The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project []

Pew Internet & American Life Project

New Report Alert

Peer-to-Peer Healthcare []Peer2Peer
Hands []
By Susannah Fox []
February 28, 2011

Many Americans turn to friends and family for support and advice when they have
a health problem. This report shows how people's networks are expanding to include
online peers, particularly in the crucible of rare disease.
The most striking finding of the national survey is the extent of peer-to-peer help
among people living with chronic conditions. One in four internet users living with
high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, lung conditions, cancer, or some
other chronic ailment (23%) say they have gone online to find others with similar
health concerns. By contrast, 15% of internet users who report no chronic conditions
have sought such help online.
When asked about the last time they had a health issue, however, 70% of adults in
the U.S. say they received information, care, or support from a health professional.
Fifty-four percent of adults say they turned to friends and family. Twenty percent
of adults say they turned to others who have the same health condition. The oft-expressed
fear that patients are using the internet to self-diagnose and self-medicate without
reference to medical professionals does not emerge in national phone surveys or
in this special rare-disease community survey.

Read the full report: []

About the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project
The Pew Internet Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit
"fact tank"that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping
America and the world. Pew Internet explores the impact of the internet on children,
families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political
life. Support for the project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Project's
website is: [].

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