According to a recent online report on family caregivers by Pew Internet*, 30% of US adults are caregivers : they fulfill personal needs or household chores, arrange for outside services, manage finances or visit regularly to see how the elderly are doing. 79% of caregivers have access to the internet. Which internet sites do they visit the most? They mainly visit websites on health, particularly to learn more about the disease and how to care for the daily. Caregivers are significantly more likely than other internet users to say that their last search for health information was for someone else.
88% look online for health information, outpacing other internet users on every health topic: looking up for treatments and information ranging from hospital ratings to end-of-life decisions. Online caregivers are more likely than other internet users to take advantage of social tools:
44% have read someone else’s personal health story online. 28% who use sites like Facebook have followed their friends’ personal health experiences or health updates. 26% have looked online for someone with similar health concerns. Online caregivers are more likely than other internet users to read online reviews on drugs, clinicians, and medical facilities:
38% have consulted online reviews of particular drugs or medical treatments. 21% have consulted online rankings or reviews of doctors or other providers. 20% have consulted online rankings or reviews of hospitals or other medical facilities.
* This report is the result of the collaboration between the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation. The California HealthCare Foundation is an independent philanthropy committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California.