7/18: Nearly Four in Ten Americans Self-Diagnose Using the Web

When ill, a sizeable proportion of the American population turns to the Internet to uncover the cause of their illness.  According to this national Marist Poll, 37% of adults nationally say they self-diagnose using the Internet at least sometimes.  This includes 6% who always go online to self-diagnose, 7% who do so often, and nearly one in four — 24% — who act as “cyber doctor” some of the time.  However, one in ten residents — 10% — seldom self-diagnose online, and a majority — 53% — never do.

stethoscope on laptop computer


Click Here for Complete July 18, 2011 USA Marist Poll Release and Tables

“Younger Americans are more likely to think the Internet makes them medical experts.  Those under 45 are also less likely than older Americans to get an annual checkup,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “And, no surprise here, women are more likely than men to schedule an annual checkup.”

Overall, only 54% of Americans report they go to the doctor every year for a checkup.  36% visit their physician just when they are sick, and one in ten — 10% — say they never go to the doctor.

Table: Self-diagnose Using the Internet
Table: Frequency of Doctor’s Visit

Marist Poll Methodology