Dr. Google will see you now

Dr. Google will see you now

  • Half of Brits have diagnosed their symptoms using the internet (50%)
  • Over half of Brits trust the internet* for accurate medical advice (55%)
  • 1 in 10 UK adults gets ?over the counter? (9%) or ?off the shelf? medicine (9%) based on their self-diagnosis
  • 1 in 10 poorly Brits wait until they?re bedridden before making an appointment with their GP (12%)

The new study found just over half of the nation trust the web for medical information and advice (55%) and furthermore, 1 in 10 (9%) unwell Brits purchase ?over the counter? or ?off the shelf? medicine (9%) following their self-diagnosis.

Opinium Research also asked the nation what the first thing they do is when they begin feeling under the weather and found while 3 in 10 make a doctor?s appointment (29%), a quarter of the nation do absolutely nothing (24%).

A fifth of the nation also admitted that they only plan a visit to their GP once they are too ill to go into work (21%) and one in ten actually wait until they are bedridden (12%).

The top three reasons why Brits avoid booking a GP appointment are:

  • Not thinking their condition is serious (29%)
  • Waiting times at the surgery are too long (17%)
  • It takes time away from work or other commitments (17%)

Kate Norfolk, head of healthcare research at Opinium, commented:
?Nobody likes being ill and when you are, most people want to find out two things: what is wrong with them and how to get better. It?s understandable that time-poor Brits would rather get medical advice at the click of a mouse than wait around in a surgery thinking about how they need to get back to work. But if you do feel unwell and think it is more than just a passing cold, it is always best to speak to a professional.?

*Trusting the internet for medical advice is based on the following internet sources: (NHS direct or other NHS site; Yahoo! Answers and forums; BBC Health online; Google search leading to other sites)

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,011 people aged 18+ between 8th to11th June 2012. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.