A new online study indicates that more than 50% of young people aged 13 to 24 are accessing health and wellness information on the Internet. Youth are also using confessional sites and posting anonymously on message boards to get personal advice more often than traditional support services such as phone hotlines.
The survey was a collaboration between Ypulse, ISIS, YouthNoise and Peanut Labs and was conducted nationally with 1600 young men and women. The survey was created to identify gaps and opportunities for delivering health info in order to inform businesses and organizations who advocate for young people’s health and wellness.
Of the respondents who said they use the web for information about health and wellness, they most often cited WebMD (15.1%) as their source, seconded by search engines. Seventeen percent (17%) of the group visited online confessional sites or message boards to share something personal, 87% of whom reported positive experiences.
Respondents across all ages, genders and race/ethnicities consistently identified STDs/HIV and drugs/substance abuse as their top health concerns. Issues related to the internet, such as cyber-bullying were mentioned, but with far less frequency.