If you thought your employees were Web surfing on sports or shopping sites, think again. Healthcare reform, scare commercials for prescription drugs, and fear of fatness may have them becoming “cyberchondriacs” who are constantly researching ailments online instead of working.
Yes, according to a recent Harris Poll, the number of people seeking health information on line has jumped to 175 million, possibly as a result of the healthcare reform debate, according to a press release. And the number of adults who say they look “often” for health info online has surged to 32 percent from 22 percent in just 1 year, although the number of adults who go online for any reason has not significantly changed.
Interestingly, about half of the cyberchondriacs say they have discussed their online findings with their doctors, and about the same number started their research after they visited their doctors.
Cyberchondriacs are happy with their obsession, with over 90 percent reporting they successfully found what they were looking for online. And only 8 percent believe the information they did find was not reliable.