Health professionals remain the central source for most Americans health care information, but an increasing number of adults are seeking out fellow patients online to supplement their health needs. Nearly one-in-five internet users (18%) say they have gone online to find others who might have health concerns similar to theirs. Adults living with a chronic condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer, are especially likely to seek assistance from online peers. About a quarter (23%) of those with chronic conditions have gone online to find others with similar health concerns. Internet users who are caring for a loved one or have experienced a medical crisis in the past are also more likely to seek help online. Fellow patients found online were mostly consulted about personal issues of how to cope with a health issue or get quick relief. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.