SAN FRANCISCO--(personal health issue with your doctor or avoided making an appointment because you don’t want to sit in the waiting room for hours, you’re not alone. A new survey from Pearl.com reveals that over half (54 percent) of survey respondents have lied to a doctor about a health issue, and 63 percent admit they are more likely to ask about sensitive topics such as sex and STDs online, rather than addressing them face-to-face in the doctor’s office.)--If you’ve ever been too embarrassed to discuss a
“On Pearl.com, there are thousands of licensed doctors available online, answering questions at any time of day, for people to have a two-way personal dialogue on any health or medical concern. We hope that Pearl.com can be an additional health resource for people, especially during the flu season upon us.”
Why Are Some Americans Avoiding the Doctor?
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents have avoided going to a doctor in favor of searching online for medical information on at least one occasion. Americans are bringing their medical questions online for a variety of reasons, with insurance-related concerns, embarrassment, and the fear of discovering a pre-existing condition high on the list.
Three of the five most common reasons for seeking medical information
online instead of at the doctor’s office were related to insurance
- Lack of health insurance coverage was the primary reason (24 percent), followed by expensive co-pays and visits not covered by an insurance plan.
- More than one in five people (21 percent) cited embarrassment as a reason to seek medical information online instead of in person with their doctor; embarrassment was the top reason for 18-24 year-olds.
- Forty-one percent of people were more likely to ask questions about sex online than offline; of that group, 50 percent were from the Midwest.
- Waiting around for an exam is the number one doctor’s office pet peeve for the majority of Americans (64 percent), followed by being exposed to germs and sick people (32 percent) and filling out confusing and time-consuming paper work (31 percent).
What Are They Lying About?
When it comes to more intimate health questions, Americans are often uncomfortable having an in-person conversation with a medical professional. The most common topics that 54 percent of respondents are fibbing about to their doctors include poor diet (18 percent), lack of exercise (18 percent), sex-related issues (15 percent), alcohol use (15 percent) and smoking (15 percent) – with men more likely than women to lie to their doctors about smoking, alcohol and drug use.
“Pearl.com seeks to help improve people’s lives, and one way that we’re doing this is by providing health and medical access to people who prefer online access to an expensive doctor’s visit, need help after hours, are uncomfortable asking questions in-person, and/or want to get some initial information from a doctor online before scheduling the in-person appointment,” said Allison Leeds, head of user experience for Pearl.com. “On Pearl.com, there are thousands of licensed doctors available online, answering questions at any time of day, for people to have a two-way personal dialogue on any health or medical concern. We hope that Pearl.com can be an additional health resource for people, especially during the flu season upon us.”
The Pearl.com Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18 and older, between September 21st and September 28th, 2012, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
Pearl.com is the largest source for professional expertise online, providing access to 10,000 professionals in 700 fields, including doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, auto mechanics and tech specialists. Professionals provide quick and affordable answers to just about any question, anytime and from anywhere. The professionals on Pearl.com are not employees, contractors or agents of Pearl.com but rather independent professionals who use the site to communicate with customers. Founded in 2003, and based in San Francisco, the privately held company operates in 196 countries and 22 currencies. The mission of the company is simple and motivating – to help people. To learn more, please visit www.pearl.com, facebook.com/pearldotcom and follow us at twitter.com/Pearldotcom.
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