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Cataract Surgery | Jun 2011

Europeans Use Social Media for Health Information

According to a Digitas Health survey of 1,000 physicians and consumers, Europeans are more likely than Americans to engage in the use of social media for health information.1

Among the European consumers polled in the 2010 study, 67% of respondents were trusting of the information they read in social media, and 52% wanted health care professionals to participate in patient forums and social networking. However, only 45% of American consumers responding to the survey said that they trusted the information posted in the social media, and 41% felt that health care professionals should engage in patient forums and social networking.

Of the physicians who participated, 41% of Europeans and 23% of Americans said that social media contributes to shaping patient management and treatment. Additionally, the majority of European physicians responding (70%) said that social media shapes the patient’s viewpoint of medical conditions and medication. When referring patients to helpful resources, 66% of physician respondents mentioned patient health forums and bulletin boards. Other popular resources in Europe include Wikipedia, Doctissimo, and the UK’s NHS Direct. In the United States, most physician respondents recommended WebMD and the Mayo Clinic.

In all, approximately 65% of physicians and 32% of patients responding to the survey said that the use of online communication of health-related issues will continue to increase over the next 18 months.

  1. Europe edges US in social medial for health info,says study.www.mmm-online.com/europe-edges-us-insocial- media-for-health-info-says-study.Accessed May 10,2011.