Second Annual PhRMA Survey: How Americans View Their Health, Three Important New Health Trends to Watch

A new survey finds Americans are seeking new sources of health information and are taking decision-making into their own hands.

PhRMA StaffAugust 13, 2014

This week we released From Hope to Cures: PhRMA’s Second Annual National Health Survey revealing new data on how Americans view their own health as well as that of the Nation. The survey also reveals three new trends that appear to be evolving under the shifting health care landscape.

The survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates of 1,207 Americans, found the majority of Americans (66 percent) report they have had a good year when it comes to their personal health, and 58 percent report they are paying more attention to their health now compared to just a few years ago. However, when it comes to the nation’s’ health overall, only 20 percent said it was a good health year for the ‘average American,’ revealing a disconnect in how Americans view themselves versus that of the average American.

This year’s survey also revealed three important new trends that may be signaling changes in the way Americans receive and use health care information.

  1. Americans are seeking new sources of health information and are taking decision-making into their own hands. For example, 78 percent of Americans report they seek sources outside of their doctor’s office for health information, and one in four (25 percent) have done something different than what their doctor recommended.
  2. Troubling myths persist around basic health and wellness issues. This year’s survey also revealed troubling myths persist around some basic health and wellness issues. Most notably, one in four Americans (25 percent) believe the unfounded claim that vaccines can cause autism in young children.
  3. While most Americans are optimistic about their health, minority communities have unique health concerns and barriers. Among African Americans, fully 25 percent report they are dealing with diabetes, compared to 17 percent of Hispanics and 11 percent of whites.

This year’s PhRMA national survey is a reminder to everyone in the biopharmaceutical industry of why it’s so important to keep the patient at the center of the health care dialogue.

Understanding what most concerns Americans about our individual health allows us to focus on improving outcomes and combatting myths and misinformation. By understanding and tracking new trends, the industry can do our part in empowering Americans to make informed decisions, always with the patient-physician relationship at the center.

We’ve developed a concise slide deck explaining the survey results, and over the next several weeks, we will be discussing each of these new trends in depth. Check back next week for a discussion around Americans’ understanding of health myths, health facts and dangerous half-truths that persist in today’s health care environment.

Read the related press release


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