New research published today by the ILC-UK reveals a continuing generational divide in access to and trust of health information. The research finds that older people are more likely to use and trust doctors and nurses whilst younger people are more likely than older to look towards pharmacists and online and telephone services.

“Next Generation Health Consumers”, supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer, explores where consumers go to seek out health information and who they trust.  Launching the report, ILC-UK argue that the diverse demands for health information across the generations strengthen the case not to cut traditional health information services and simply replace them with online and telephone services.

Whilst older people in the UK are more likely to report excellent or very good health than those in Germany, France and Portugal, 12% of people aged under 24 in the UK reported fair or poor health, a figure much higher than found in Germany, France and Portugal

One in seven of our UK survey respondents aged over 65 report it difficult to find health information.

The research also finds that:

  • Healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses are the most frequently used and trusted sources of health information but they are still sometimes underused,
  • Younger people are more likely than older to trust pharmacists,
  • Around a quarter of younger respondents in the UK would like to receive more information from pharmacists, and around half would like to get more health information over the internet,
  • Younger people are more likely than older to search out and trust health advice from friends, friends or colleagues.
  • Trust and use of in web-based health sources is stronger among younger people than older
  • Young people aged 24 or under are more likely than other age groups to say that they are ‘definitely’ or ‘very likely’ to go to a medical helpline for further information on any particular health issue.

Launching the report, ILC-UK urge health information providers to recognise the need for significantly different tools to communicate health messages to older and younger people. The report urges service providers to continue to invest in tackling digital exclusion and encourages Governments and Health and Social Care professionals to do more to develop health literacy as part of strategy to help raise awareness among population of how to look after themselves.

Download “Next Generation Health Consumers” via the ‘Download a PDF’ link below

Download “A new Journey to Health - health information seeking behaviour across the generations” via the link below:
“A new Journey to Health - health information seeking behaviour across the generations”

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