Research Outline

The Use of Social Media in Medical Decisions


To provide insights into the use of social media in medical decision making, specifically, the percentage of people in each age bracket that have or plan to search for a medical practice/physician via social media and how much social media presence influences a patient's trust in their physician.

Early Findings

Social Media Impact in Making Medical Decisions

  • My Practice reputation report opined that the use of social media in the healthcare industry has skyrocketed.
  • According to a survey of 2,204 U.S. adults conducted on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), 32% of respondents said they had taken a health-related action such as "modifying their diet, taking a dietary supplement, changing their exercise routine or trying an alternative treatment based on information they read on social media."
  • 15% of parents with children below 18 have self-diagnosed a health concern based on information found on social media.
  • 54% of millennials (18 to 34 years) and 42% of all adults are or would like to be friends with or follow their health care professionals on social media.
  • 65% of millennials and 43% of all adults "think it is appropriate to use social media to contact their physician about a health issue, either by posting a message on the physician's web page or via direct message."
  • Another report by Mediabistro opined that over 40% of customers agree that the information found on social media impacts how they handle their healthcare.
  • 90% of millennials are reported to trust healthcare information shared by people on social media.
  • Another report by Demi & Cooper Advertising and D.C. Interactive Group suggests that 41% of respondents said social media influenced their choice of a doctor, facility, or medical practice.
  • Also, 33% of U.S. customers make use of social media in searching for health-related data.
  • 40% of people think information found on social media impacts how they cope with a chronic illness, view their healthcare regimen, and choose a doctor.
  • A study by PwC Health Research indicated that over 75% of Americans use social media to research their health symptoms.
  • 42% of individuals searching for health information on social media look at health-related consumer reviews.


From our initial search, we were unable to identify any pre-compiled report, survey, studies, or publication with information on the percentage of people that have or plan to search for a medical practice/physician via social media based on different age groups. We have therefore, provided information of the agegroups found in the public domain.