Chronic Disease & the Internet

A new Pew report has data that seems contradictory — only 62% of people with chronic disease access the internet (unlike the average of 81%), yet, those with chronic disease on the internet are very involved in blogs, discussions, and other activities.

The difference is simply one thing – access to the internet.  Those with chronic conditions who have internet access are very involved the study found.  In fact, it was a “significant increase” in involvement when someone on the internet had a chronic disease diagnosis.   So that makes, on average, nearly 20% fewer people (than the average) who are possibly interested but unable to participate.

The study found that users with chronic conditions were using the internet as a communication tool (not as an “information vending machine”) to look up blog posts, participate in ongoing discussions, reviews of hospitals and doctors as well as a variety of user-generated health content (e.g., podcasts).

Chronic Disease and the Internet, Pew Report March 2010

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