Lessons for Healthcare Marketers from Pew’s Latest Poll of Caregivers

personal health dataOnline health-related activities are alive and well among caregivers. In fact, they consistently take to the Internet for health in greater numbers than non-caregivers across multiple categories. According to new Pew data,* 72% of caregivers gather health information online, and 52% of them participate in social media activities. Even 46% have attempted to self-diagnose online, though fewer consulted online reviews of drugs (24%).

Controlling for multiple factors, the study showed caregivers were more likely than non- to:

  • Gather health information online and offline (on medical problems, treatments, and drugs).
  • Go online specifically to diagnose self or other person.
  • Check online reviews of drugs and other treatments.
  • Monitor personal health data such as weight, diet or exercise routine.
  • Seek out/read about other people’s health experiences online.

Implications for marketers
Knowing that caregivers actively search for a variety of health information for both themselves and those for whom they care, healthcare marketers should make sure their organizations’ websites and messaging cater to the specific needs of caregivers as reflected in this survey. Indeed, caregivers are not only a part of your audience today, but they are also increasingly likely to be a part of it tomorrow: A previous Pew study found 47% of U.S. adults saying “it is likely that, at some point in their life, they will be responsible for caring for an aging parent or another elderly family member.”

For more details on the poll, see the full report: “Family Caregivers are Wired for Health.”

*(Pew Research Center and California HealthCare Foundation via iHealthBeat.)


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Photo courtesy of Juhan Sonin via Flickr.

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