Healthline Research Surfaces American Interest in 'Self-Health' Care

A Vast Majority of Americans Want More Control of Their Healthcare, a Trend That Sends Many in Search of Health Information Online

SAN FRANCISCO – December 19, 2019 New survey released today from, the flagship online health information site of Healthline Media, reveals that Americans are eager to have a greater hand in their own healthcare.

According to a recent survey of 2,020 U.S. adults in major cities across the U.S. conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of Healthline Media from November 2 to November 7, 2019, 92% would like more control over their healthcare, 89% say they pay more attention to their health and wellness than they used to, and 79% have searched for information online about a medical concern.

“Americans today are taking more control of their health than ever before,” said Healthline Media President and CEO David Kopp. “Only a quarter are exclusively taking their doctor’s advice about an illness or ailment — the rest are looking for additional information. We pride ourselves on being an excellent online resource of quality health information for these Americans.”

Trend Toward ‘Self Health’

In addition to tried and true advice for staying healthy, like annual check-ups (48%), eating a balanced diet (46%), taking vitamins (53%), and getting regular exercise (45%), the Americans that took this survey said that they’re boosting their health by:

  • Staying well-rested and stress-free:

    • 57% try to reduce stress
    • 42% practice positivity
    • 41% sleep at least 8 hours each night
    • 20% meditate
    • 17% do yoga
  • Staying informed:

    • 33% stay informed about health topics
    • 24% research health concerns before going to the doctor
  • Keeping unhealthy habits in check:

    • 49% choose not to smoke
    • 33% limit alcohol intake
    • 23% avoid alcohol altogether
  • Keeping viruses at bay:

    • 60% wash hands often
    • 38% get a flu shot

Doctor Knows Best — but Not All

While trust in doctors is high (50%) among respondents, Americans also appreciate that the internet is a vast repository of health information at their fingertips — and they’re putting that information to use.

Only about a quarter (26%) exclusively follow their doctor’s advice when they have an illness or a medical condition. More than three-quarters (79%) have searched for information about a medical condition online. Additionally:

  • 86% adapt their doctor’s advice to what they feel is best for them
  • 83% feel confident that they can identify their ailment through online research
  • 49% seek their doctor’s advice but gather additional information before deciding on treatment
  • 18% do independent research before speaking with their doctor

More than a quarter (29%) of Americans say they prefer to diagnose themselves online instead of seeing a doctor.

“Independent research is always a good idea,” added Kopp. “But we recommend against using the internet exclusively to diagnose an ailment or illness. Always be mindful of the health sites you visit, because you want the information to be evidence-based and clinically vetted. Bottom line, if you’re feeling poorly, check online – and go see your doctor.”

Kopp authored an opinion piece on this subject in Newsweek in October.

About Healthline Media
San Francisco-based Healthline Media’s mission is to empower people to be their strongest and healthiest selves by being a trusted ally in their pursuit of health and well-being. The company is one of the world’s fastest growing health information brands with online properties, and Healthline Media’s sites provide evidence-based and data-driven articles with the highest standards of medical integrity that support the modern health consumer with a whole-person approach to health and wellness. Healthline Media is the top ranked health publisher and number 36 on Comscore’s Top 100 Property rankings. Across all of its properties, Healthline Media publishes each month up to 1,000 scientifically accurate yet reader-friendly articles authored by more than 120 writers and reviewed by more than 100 doctors, clinicians, nutritionists, and other experts. The company’s repository contains more than 70,000 articles, each updated with current protocol. More than 200 million people worldwide and 86 million people in the U.S. visit Healthline’s sites each month, according to Google Analytics and Comscore, respectively.

Media Contact
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About Healthline Media

As the #1 health media property in the US, Healthline Media reaches more than 94MM unique visitors each month (Comscore, August 2021). We provide credible health information with a compassionate approach.