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Study Finds Many Older Americans Using Physician Online Ratings When Choosing Physicians

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More than 40% of older adults in the United States said they utilized online ratings or reviews when choosing their doctor, according to survey data published in Annals of Internal Medicine, writes Healio.

The online ratings and reviews were viewed as “very important” nearly as much as verbal recommendations from respondents’ family and friends, and more often than a where a physician trained or went to medical school, researchers reported.

Online ratings and reviews are increasingly available to the public, and until now, it was unclear how older adults — who visit physicians more than any other age group — use and value this information when choosing a physician

Researchers reviewed answers from 2,256 Americans aged 50 to 80 years, most of them women and white, who responded to the National Poll on Healthy Aging in May 2019. The respondents answered questions about online habits and other factors when choosing a doctor. The study found more than four in 10 respondents said they had obtained online ratings or reviews for a physician when choosing one for themselves. This process was more prevalent among women than men, those with at least one chronic medical condition, and those with at least some college education or higher compared with those with a high school education or less.

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