About 15 Million Adults Cite Internet as ‘Crucial or Important’ Factor in Health Care Decisions, Study Finds
The Internet has had a "significant" impact on health care decisions for more than 15 million Americans in the past two years, according to a study released last week by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The study, a survey of 1,415 adult Internet users conducted in January 2002 by Princeton Survey Research Associates, found that about 25% of respondents who had a "major illness" or "helped a loved one deal with an illness" said the Internet played a "crucial or important role" in their health care decisions. According to the study, about 24% of those respondents who had a major illness -- about four million individuals nationwide -- cited the Internet as an important factor in their health care decisions. About 26% of those respondents who helped family members or friends address an illness also cited the Internet as an important factor in their health care decisions, and an additional 31% said that the Internet "played a minor role" (Kommers/Rainie, "Use of the Internet at Major Life Moments," 5/8). For more iHealth & Technology stories, visit iHealthBeat.org, a new Web publication sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.