Searching the Internet for health care information has become more widespread in the past year. Over the last two years, the number of people who have used the Internet to search for health-related information has also increased markedly from 53% in 2005 to 71%. This brings the number of all U.S. adults who have ever searched for health information online to 160 million, from 136 million in 2006 and 117 million in 2005 for a 37 percent increase over two years.
The proportion of these â€œcyberchondriacsâ€ as Harris Interactive refers to those who search online either often or sometimes has also risen. Most adults who have ever looked for health information online claim that they have been at least somewhat successful in finding what they were looking for. In addition, the great majority believes the information to be at least somewhat reliable, and most of them have talked to their physicians about the information they found on the Internet.
These are some of the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 1,010 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone by Harris Interactive between July 10 and 17, 2007