WASHINGTON — The majority of Americans report they have had a good year when it comes to their personal health, and are paying more attention to their health compared to just a few years ago, according to From Hope to Cures: PhRMA’s Second Annual National Health Survey.
The survey, which explores Americans’ attitudes on personal health and medical concerns, also brought to light three new trends evolving under the shifting healthcare landscape. Americans are seeking new sources of health information and are taking decision-making into their own hands, a large majority of Americans (78%) report they seek sources outside of their doctor’s office for health information, and 1-in-4 (25%) have done something different than what their doctor recommended.
"While Americans are optimistic about their own health and that of their families, they are significantly less positive about the health of the nation as a whole.”Americans report confusion around basic health-and-wellness facts and practices, most notably around childhood vaccines, which 1-in-4 Americans (25%) believe can cause autism.
And while most Americans are optimistic about their health, minority communities have unique health concerns and barriers. Among African Americans, 25% report they are dealing with diabetes, compared to 17% of Hispanics and 11% of whites.
“It’s crucial to keep the patient at the center of the healthcare dialogue in order to improve health outcomes in America,” said John Castellani, president and CEO of PhRMA. “This year’s survey not only provides a current snapshot of how Americans feel about their health and wellness, it reveals important new trends on where Americans are turning for health information and how they are making personal health care decisions.”
Among the key findings:
- 66% of Americans report they have had a good year when it comes to their own health, while 63% report it has been a good year for their family’s health;
- 58% of Americans report they are paying more attention to their health now compared with just a few years ago, with weight management, diet and exercise topping the list of personal health concerns; and
- 20% report it was a good health year for Americans overall.
“While Americans are optimistic about their own health and that of their families, they are significantly less positive about the health of the nation as a whole,” said Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates. “These findings reveal a disconnect in perceptions of how Americans view themselves and that of the average American in the context of today’s rapidly evolving healthcare system.”
The survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates, polled 1,207 Americans.