Survey: 1 in 3 US Adults Has Self-Diagnosed Online

Posted January 15th, 2013 at 2:25 pm (UTC-5)
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If you have ever turned to the Internet to find out what is wrong with you when experiencing a pain or other health issue, you are not alone.

The Pew Research Center says 35 percent of U.S. adults have gone online to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have.

The survey finds 46 percent of online diagnosers say the information they found on the Web led them to think they needed a doctor. Thirty-eight percent say it was something they could treat at home. More who chose to see a doctor had their diagnosis confirmed, 41 percent, than not, 18 percent.

The survey found women are more likely than men to use the Internet to self-diagnose. Other groups with a higher likelihood of being online diagnosers include younger people, white adults, those in households earning $75,000 or more, and those with a college degree.

The study was designed to measure scope and not to determine whether the Internet has had a good or bad influence on health care.

The survey, part of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, involved more than 3,000 adults living in the United States. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish.