Patients prefer health media sites to user-generated content for medical info, says survey

Share this article:
Consumers continue to trust health magazines, websites and WebMD more than user-generated contribution sites like Wikipedia, Facebook or Twitter for medical information, according to a survey.

More than half of the adults surveyed – 54% – had consulted user-generated content for health info – compared to 68% who'd sought out info on news sites. However, almost half (48%) had searched WebMD.

Facebook sites are the fourth most-frequented source, according to the survey of 1,000 adults, conducted by Makovsky + Company, with 11% of Americans looking for medical info there. But Facebook sites created by peers were ranked the least trusted by 26% of respondents (Facebook sites for patient groups and communities fared much better).

Overall, patient communities' sites were visited by a scant 7% of respondents. Pharma company-sponsored pages ranked dead last for visits, with just 6% of respondents visiting disease awareness pages and branded treatment pages.

The results indicate a tiered approach to health info online that privileges trusted brands over user-generated content, said Makovsky execs.

“Peer to peer communication establishes an emotional, ‘tell me your story' connection,” said Makovsky health practice leader Gil Bashe. “Yet when it comes to healthcare information, patients still trust the experts.”
Share this article:

Email Newsletters

More in News

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, August 21

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, ...

An Ebola survivor is set to leave Emory University Hospital, but the cause of the cure is uncertain, the FDA has approved a new type 1 diabetes test, and the ...

Sanofi expands Gaucher disease portfolio

Sanofi expands Gaucher disease portfolio

The oral medication Cerdelga joins Cerezyme in its Gaucher disease arsenal. Sanofi expects the drug will be priced "on par" with Cerezyme, which goes for around $300,000 a year in ...

Amicus seeks to upset Fabry market

Amicus seeks to upset Fabry market

Phase-III tests indicate patients may be able to switch from injectable enzyme-replacement therapies, like Fabrazyme, to the firm's oral drug.