Magazines and health information websites more likely to motivate doctor discussions

INformation sources used by adults to research ailments

With all the resources available, it isn’t surprising that 3 out of 4 US adults have conducted some type of research about a particular health condition in the past year, according toKantar Media’s 2014 MARS Online Behavior Study.

Besides their doctor, consumers are more likely to reach out to those close to them - friend and family - about healthcare issues. Many also explore the seemingly limitless content available online - whether from online ads, search engines or drug company websites. 

But what do people do with their research and information once they have it?  Are their findings motivating them to take action in terms of treatment? 

healthcare information sources

It may come as a surprise to find that the sources consumers come to rely on may have an impact on their actions. While 15% of adults sought out information from magazines (ads, articles or their websites) about a particular condition, 89% of these adults say the information source prompted them to have a discussion with their doctor about a drug. Further, one in every three adults has used health information websites for research, with 81% going to their doctor to discuss a specific drug. 

How do friends and family measure up then, if they are regularly sought as an information source?  Two in every three adults discuss a particular medication with their doctor as a result of seeking information from friends and family, yet of total conversations (regardless of intent) only a third are prompted to speak with a health care professional.

*Online Advertising and Marketer-Influenced Content (Net) = online advertisements, online search engine results, mobile phone/tablet search results, or drug company/brand websites

*Healthcare Providers = A doctor first suggested a specific drug or medication, pharmacist or other healthcare professionals

For more information about accessing full study results, contact us here.

The MARS Online Behavior Study helps the industry make better decisions about how to incorporate online into pharmaceutical and OTC marketing strategies. The MARS Online Behavior Study is fielded as a re-contact among the MARS Core respondents who said they accessed the Internet in the last 30 days.


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