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e-Health and the Elderly: How Seniors Use the Internet for Health – Survey

A national Kaiser Family Foundation survey of older Americans found that as the Internet becomes an increasingly important resource for informing decisions about health and health care options, less than a third (31%) of seniors (age 65 and older) have ever gone online, but that more than two-thirds (70%) of the next generation of seniors (50-64 year-olds) have done so.

The differences among seniors and 50-64 year-olds are striking and indicate that online resources for health information may soon play a much larger role among older Americans. Twenty-one percent of seniors have gone online to look for health information compared to 53% of 50-64 year-olds; 8% of seniors get “a lot” of health information online compared to 24% of 50-64 year-olds; the Internet is 5th on a list of media sources of health information for seniors compared to first among 50-64 year-olds; and 26% of seniors trust the Internet “a lot” or “some” to provide accurate health information, compared to 58% of 50-64 year-olds.

The survey is a nationally representative, random digit dial telephone survey of 1,450 adults age 50 and older, including 583 respondents age 65 and older. The report was released at a briefing held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, January 12, 2005.

Survey Report (.pdf)

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.