Baby Boomers Want Control of Their Own Health and Actively Seek out Information from Multiple Sources to Help Make Decisions

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep 19, 2007 - Between doctors, pharmacists, websites, blogs, magazines, radio and TV, there is an abundance of information about health related topics coming through multiple channels. Focalyst surveyed 30,000 Boomers (born between 1946-1964) and Matures (born before 1946), and found that they are paying attention and use a variety of health-related sources, with Boomers more information hungry than Matures. According to a new report from Focalyst, "Boomers and Decisions About Their Health: It's All About Control," doctors remain the most frequently used source for advice and information, but a number of other sources are consulted as well. -0-
              Health Sources Used by Boomers and Matures

                                                       Baby

                                                       Boomers Matures

----------------------------------------------------------------------

My Doctor                                               93%      93%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

A Friend Or Family Member                               85%      70%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

My Pharmacist                                           83%      84%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Health Insurance Providers                              75%      70%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Web Sites About Disease/Symptoms                        70%      41%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Magazine/Newspaper Content                              69%      58%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

TV Or Cable Program Content                             68%      58%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Brochures From Manufacturers/Health Organizations       68%      59%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Ads In Magazines Or Newspapers                          66%      56%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Independent Consumer Advocacy Organizations             62%      52%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Friend Or Family Member Who Is A Doctor Or Healthcare

 Pro.                                                   62%      50%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Radio Program Content                                   58%      44%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Pharmaceutical Internet Web Sites                       56%      35%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Government Web Sites/Publications                       55%      37%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Alternative Health Practitioners                        53%      39%

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Blogs/Podcasts                                          26%      17%

Source: Focalyst

Despite the usage of healthcare professionals at a rate nearly equal to Matures, Boomers are consulting a wider variety of sources, both as a result of their information seeking nature and their higher rate of Internet penetration.

According to Heather Stern, Director of Marketing for Focalyst, "While Boomers have a high degree of trust in their physicians, often they go to doctor's visits with their own ideas about their health, already well informed, thanks to websites, friends and direct-to-consumer advertising. And in some cases, they have very definitive ideas about treatments for their conditions, which may not always be in-line with what their doctor suggests."

When asked which sources they find "very valuable," older consumers, regardless of age, cite their doctor. However, there are apparent differences by age, with Boomers more likely to value websites next, while Matures still prefer to rely on the face-to-face interaction with their pharmacists. -0-

       Health Information Sources Deemed Most Valuable by Age*

              Boomers                             Matures

----------------------------------------------------------------------

          My Doctor (66%)                     My Doctor (77%)

   Web Sites About Diseases (42%)           My Pharmacist (45%)

 Friend/Family in Healthcare Prof.     Friend/Family in Healthcare

                (41%)                            Prof.(36%)

        My Pharmacist (39%)           Web Sites About Diseases (34%)

   Pharmaceutical Web Sites (31%)    Health Insurance Providers (28%)

*"Very Valuable" among those who use the source.

Source: Focalyst

Other key findings from the Focalyst report include:

-- Mature consumers are more likely than Boomers to participate in preventative healthcare, such as health screenings and flu shots (84% vs. 61%).

-- While almost all Boomers feel that their doctors treat them with respect (85%), they are less likely to be "extremely pleased" with the care and advice they receive from healthcare professionals (69% vs. 84%).

-- Regardless of age, over 90% of older consumers think that the cost of medical care in this country is too high, and 7 in 10 support universal healthcare.

About Focalyst:

New York-based Focalyst (www.focalyst.com) is a joint venture of AARP Services, Inc. and The Kantar Group, the research, insight and consultancy arm of WPP. The company is a leading source of information about Baby Boomers and Mature consumers, providing forward-looking research and strategic consulting to marketers, advertisers, researchers and brand managers across a wide range of industries. Health is one of many areas that Focalyst studied in its landmark research of Boomers and beyond. Comprehensive findings are covered in the recently released Focalyst View report.

Contact

Focalyst
Jackie Bartolotta, 212-548-7254
jackie.bartolotta@focalyst.com

Posted: September 2007


View comments

Hide
(web3)