Survey finds over 1/3 of Oklahomans are Cyberchondriacs
OKLAHOMA CITY – 3,000 Oklahomans were surveyed by The Tinker Law Firm, and 35.7 percent of them said they turn to the internet to assess and monitor their health rather than seeking a medical professional.
“The internet is a fantastic source of medical information,” said a spokesperson for The Tinker Law Firm. “But, in the hands of patients who have trouble handling uncertainty, it can be endangering.”
Lol I can’t stand people on Facebook giving HEALTH advice acting like they like went to college for 8+ years to be a doctor. Everything is on a spectrum and health is different for every single person 🙄
— Chantel ♡ (@ChantelBreeze) February 3, 2018
The study also found 15 percent of Americans suffer from anxiety or ‘Cyberchondria,’ which is the escalation of concerns about common symptoms based on research found online.
Though it may be a cheaper and quicker alternative, going online to assess our health may be fueling the rise of ‘cyberchondria’ in America, with 15 percent of respondents stating they cause themselves anxiety by Googling their symptoms.
Please sign!!! 📝 ✅
— Genevieve RD (@DietitianGen) January 21, 2018
Also, 1 in 5 parents admit they would consult the internet regarding their children’s symptoms before going to see a doctor, men (32 percent) admitted to diagnosing their child’s symptoms online more than women (12 percent).
The survey revealed it is women who are more likely to self-diagnose, with 36 percent of women using home remedies over a doctor, compared to 29 percent of men.
The Tinker Law Firm has created an interactive map of the US that shows the breakdown of self-diagnoses across the states:
Nationally, the survey also found 30 percent of Americans use home remedies to deal with health issues, perhaps to avoid high medical costs or because of busy lifestyles. Though only 30 percent said they use home remedies, interestingly, 41 percent of Americans said they believe in homeopathic solutions.
As you can see from the map, Arkansans are the most likely to self-diagnose (a staggering 83 percent said they’d consult the internet over a doctor), whereas those in Oregon are least likely to self-diagnose, with only 13 percent stating they’d go online to research their symptoms.
While there are many places to get medical advice online, make sure you are getting it from a medical professional.