Nearly two thirds of Brits now admit to surfing for symptoms online before consulting a health professional. Yet, while a one in four claim they’re concerned with diagnosing a health worry, 14 per cent of respondants to a study by patient.co.uk admitted to lying to their doctor.
What’s more, it appears we’re most likely to talk to our nearest and dearest (34 per cent) or turn to Google to check our symptoms online (26 per cent), rather than going to the doctors (13 per cent).
Patient.co.uk revealed its Health of the Nation report to mark the launch of the new MyHealth tool, a free-to use, clinically proven, online health assessment tool.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Sarah Jarvis, clinical consultant said: “It’s not surprising that we’re becoming increasingly concerned about our health and our study found that over half of respondents are motivated to be healthier as a result of a health scare.
“Despite this, our study has found that we aren’t always as truthful as we should be with medical professionals. Of those that have lied to their nurse or doctor, just over a third do so to avoid embarrassment, almost a quarter are concerned about the outcome of their diagnosis and some even admit to being scared of getting told off for their poor lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking.
“With the wealth of information available online, it’s no wonder that it’s more convenient to turn to the web, however it’s important that people receive accurate and appropriate advice so they can take action early if needed.”
“I would always encourage people to seek advice from trusted sources, whether that be a GP, health professional or a clinically-backed website, so that patients can be confident that they are receiving the correct information.”
Dr Sarah Jarvis continued: “Although not a substitute for a visit to your GP or nurse, Patient.co.uk is a useful resource which offers more than 2,000 pages of advice, validated by The Department for Health** which also helps signpost consumers to their local healthcare services.”
“With many Brits admitting they are concerned with keeping fit, losing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle, the brand new MyHealth tool is the perfect helping hand to offer clear advice and information to support people to begin addressing their health concerns early.’’
Patient.co.uk is the UK’s leading health information website which combines clinically-authored advice with wellbeing guidance, making it a one-stop resource for all health concerns.