Survey: More millennials turning to retail clinics for their health needs

NEW YORK — A recent Harris Poll commissioned by Nielsen that was released Thursday found that nearly one in five U.S. adults (19%) say they have visited a retail health clinic in the last 12 months, either for themselves or a member of their family.

"As the price of health care continues to rise and become more complex, Americans are increasingly seeking easier and more affordable ways to address their everyday health needs and concerns," stated Andrew Mandzy, director of strategic insights for Nielsen's Health & Wellness Growth & Strategy Practice. "Beyond just flu shots, more and more consumers are turning to in-store retail clinics for wellness management, marking a real growth opportunity for retailers."

Most commonly, Americans visit retail health clinics for some kind of treatment (e.g., allergies, colds, fever, headaches/migraines, sinus or ear infection, sore throat, rash, lice, acid reflux, etc.) (53%), followed by a flu vaccine (35%), a health screening (32%), a general health assessment (29%) or a general physical (19%).

Over half of retail health clinic users (53%) purchase a product during or after their visit, including over-the-counter medication (36%), personal care products (27%), food (24%) or household cleaning products (18%).

Those who visited a retail health clinic in the past 12 months are more likely to be:

  • Men (22% vs. 16% women);
  • 18-44 years of age (26% of 18-34 & 20% of 35-44 vs. 11% of 55-65);
  • Living in a household with children (29% vs. 13% without children);
  • Married (21% vs. 16% not married);
  • Living in an urban setting (26% vs. 16% suburban & 16% rural); and
  • Hispanic (35% vs. 18% of whites & 15% of Asians).

Millennial patients most frequently seek some type of treatment (49%) at a retail clinic, but are more likely than some older counterparts to seek general physicals (34%), health counseling (19%), and/or travel immunization shots (13%). They are also nearly twice as likely as others to purchase personal care products (49%), food (45%), and/or cleaning supplies (33%) during/after their visits.

Similarly, those in a household with children most likely seek treatment (53%), but are more likely than households without children under 18 to visit retail health clinics for general physicals (27%) and health counseling (15%). These adults are more than twice as likely to be encouraged to purchase a product (71%). Around 4 in 10 purchased over-the-counter medication (45%) and/or personal care products (40%).

Hispanic patients primarily visit health clinics for flu vaccines (45%) and general health assessments (42%). Nearly 9 in 10 (86%) say the visit encouraged a product purchase, with 55% buying over-the-counter medication and 42% purchasing personal care products.

Harris Poll surveyed 2,223 U.S. adults aged 18 and over online between Sept. 19 and Oct. 3, 2016, including 403 who sought medical attention at a retail health clinic in the last 12 months.

 

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