Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

amednews: Why patients are turning less to media and friends for health information :: Dec. 26, 2011 … American Medical News

 

Conversation between doctor and patient/consumer.

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amednews: Why patients are turning less to media and friends for health information :: Dec. 26, 2011 … American Medical News

Excerpts from the 26 December 2011 news item of the American Medical Association (AMA)

Consumers’ access to physicians and the quality of information available are affecting their level of interest in seeking outside guidance on their conditions.

By PAMELA LEWIS DOLAN, amednews staff. Posted Dec. 26, 2011.

 

As patient visits to physicians have declined, so has their interest in finding information relating to their health.

The waning interest in information-seeking as patient visits fall is what the Center for Studying Health System Change called a “surprising” conclusion to a survey of 17,000 patients released in November. Visits to physicians dropped 4% between 2007 and 2010. Meanwhile, the percentage of American adults seeking information about a personal health concern in the previous 12 months decreased from 55.5% to 50% in the same period, it said.

Analysts said there probably are multiple reasons for that. The trend could reflect that when patients are less able to see a physician, they are less likely to be engaged in their health. It could be that with physician visits down, patients have more time to spend with their doctor, meaning they have less of a need for outside sources of information.

And they said the decline could reflect that so much information is available — and so much of it conflicting — that some overwhelmed patients may be opting out altogether from researching their health.

For physicians, analysts said, the implication of the study is that when patients come into their offices, they are going to rely on them more than ever for help in managing their health.

1 in 5 patients has delayed or canceled a doctor visit, medical test or procedure in the past year.

The sources of information the center studied were the Internet, print media, television and radio, and friends and relatives. Internet was the only source that went up, to 32.6% from 31.1%. But center researcher Ha T. Tu wrote that the growth failed to keep pace with a strong rise in residential broadband Internet access, which went up from 47% to 66% between 2007 and 2010….

Read the entire news article

January 9, 2012 - Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , , , ,

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