How We Take Charge Of Our Health
When it comes to finding out more about a health condition, most people still trust their doctors or pharmacist, but two thirds of us also want to hear from someone living with that condition.
That finding is part of Edelman’s Health Barometer, a worldwide survey that examined the attitudes of 15,000 people in 12 countries. When asked who they thought of as the most credible sources for medical information, 88 percent chose their doctor, while 81 percent chose their pharmacist. Also ranking high were nurses (77 percent), nutritionists or dietitians (75 percent) and academic experts (72 percent.)
But fully 65 percent of those questioned chose a person living with a specific condition or illness. That ranked above even health experts affiliated with a company (62 percent) and a friend or family member (55 percent). Ranking lowest on the list: celebrities (17 percent).
Those findings are consistent with the survey’s characterization of global health as a social phenomenon – i.e. that individuals consistently exchange health information and are often motivated by the desire to help others: When asked what would encourage them to engage in “health advocacy,” 43 percent said they would be influenced by “realizing [that] the long-term health of another would improve.” But if a person persisted in an unhealthy habit, 31 percent of respondents would avoid their company.