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A new study from Brigham Young University (BYU) in the U.S. finds that while most people go online regularly to diagnose health issues, many are reluctant to post health information, questions, or experiences on their social networks.
"Less than 15% of us are posting the health information that most of us are consuming," said lead researcher Rosemary Thackeray in a press statement from the university dated March 25. The study appears online in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
According to the survey of 1,745 adults in the U.S., more than 60% of internet users go online for health help -- looking for advice, digging up user experiences on social media and consulting online reviews of health providers and health care facilities.
Thackeray believes that if people were more "social" about health information on social media, the information would become better.
"If you only have a few people sharing their experience with using a painkiller, that's different than 10,000 people doing that," Thackeray said. "If we're really going to use this social media aspect, there needs to be a true collective wisdom of the crowds."
New research (January 2013) from the Pew Internet Project reveals that 59% of U.S. adults say they have looked online for health information in the past year. Additionally, 35% said they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have.
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