Survey: 44% of Americans self-diagnose online instead of visiting medical professional

Brian Zimmerman - Print  | 

Forty-four percent of Americans prefer to self-diagnose their illness online rather than see a medical professional, according to a survey conducted by The Tinker Law Firm.

For the survey, the Seattle-based medical malpractice law firm asked 3,000 adults nationwide about using the internet to self-diagnose illness and their reliance on home remedies for treatment.

Here are three more findings to know.

1. Fifteen percent of respondents said they experienced anxiety — or "cyberchondria" — as a result of looking up illness symptoms.

2. Thirty percent of respondents said they rely on home remedies to address health issues, and 41 percent said they believed in homeopathic remedies.

3. Eighty-three percent of respondents from Arkansas preferred to self-diagnose their illness online rather than see a medical professional, the highest rate among all states.

"The internet is a fantastic source of medical information, but in the hands of patients who have trouble handling uncertainty, it can be endangering," said a spokesperson from the law firm in an emailed release.

To view a state-by-state breakdown of the findings, click here.

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