The Internet plays an integral role in the lives of the nation’s caregivers, finds a July 2012 Pew Internet survey, and most caregivers with access to the Internet are using it to find health information for the people they’re caring for—including information on care providers and medical facilities.
Almost half of caregivers, at 43%, are aged 50 or older, and nearly 80% of them have access to the Internet, says Pew. The majority of those online caregivers (88%) outpace other Internet users on every health topic included in the survey, from looking up certain treatments to hospital ratings to end-of-life decisions.
Caregivers do a lot of health information searching on behalf of someone else, compared to other Internet users, at 67% vs. 54%. Nearly half of online caregivers, at 44%, have read someone else’s personal health story online, compared to 29% of non-caregivers.
Online caregivers are more likely to utilize online rankings or reviews of doctors or other providers compared to non-caregivers, at 21% to 13%.
One out of five online caregivers have consulted online rankings or reviews of hospitals and other medical facilities, while only 12% of non-caregivers have done so.
For more information, check out Pew Internet’s Family Caregivers Online report.
Written by Alyssa Gerace