Survey: Young women go to Web first with health questions

Posted Mar 18, 2010 by KJ Mullins
A new survey by iVillage found that women 18 to 34 are more likely to pose health questions online before asking their doctor or family.
iVillage conducted the survey with the help of Harris Interactive in February with the results being unveiled to coincide with the launch of
Four out of five young women surveyed say that instead of going to family use Anonymous peer networking and sharing common experiences. They cited that they were uncomfortable when discussing these concerns with their friends and family. Over half of the women said that they were embarrassed when talking about health issues with someone that they know.
When it comes to talking to mom or a Website, the Web wins 32 percent of the time if the issue is thought not to be extremely serious.
Sixty-four per cent of the women use online communities to discuss health concerns that they have not gone anywhere else to talk about.
Almost half of the women go to their computers to research a health question, that's nearly double the number that go to their doctor first.
Spouses are also not where females turn over half of the time with health concerns, preferring to get information first on the Internet.
"This research further demonstrates what iVillage has always known about women - they place tremendous value in the power of support from their online peers, as well as expert advice, to resolve the many demands they face," said Barrett. "One of the keys to living a healthier life is to be a more educated, informed patient. iVillage Health will be an invaluable resource to women in that respect," said Jennifer Barrett, Health Editor for iVillage in a press release obtained by Digital Journal.
Harris Interactive conducted the survey online with 2,618 U.S. adults age 18+, of whom 1,342 are women answering the questions. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.