A new journey to health: health information seeking behaviour across the generations

Document type
Corporate author(s)
International Longevity Centre UK
International Longevity Centre - UK
Date of publication
12 February 2015
Health Services, Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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This report explores where consumers go to seek out health information and who they trust. It 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. 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 the 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

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