Consumer Confidence in Health Information from Non-Health Care Provider Sources on the Rise in The Harris Poll’s 2022 Health Information Trends Study

Trust in information from secondary sources like Internet searches, pharma companies, patient advocacy groups, and more has grown since 2019 Survey; Consumers need help making sense of online health information.

NEW YORK, July 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Harris Poll, a Stagwell (NASDAQ:STGW) company, today released results from the “2022 Health Information Trends Survey,” conducted among a nationally representative sample of over 2,000 US adults between June 15 and June 17, 2022, The survey – which expands upon research first conducted in 2019 on the public’s trust in health information sources – shows consumers are increasingly looking to non-health care providers for critical health information.

Findings from the “2022 Health Information Trends Survey” suggest the public is both confident in and confused by online information, leading to a ‘trust but verify’ approach to health information.

  • Consumers side-stepping health care providers for health information: A majority of US adults agree that they can often find the health information they need without going to a health care provider (63%). Nearly the same proportion (61%) agree they need help making sense of all the health information available online.
  • The proportion of adults who trust non-health care provider information sources is on the rise since 2019. Consumers report a great deal or a lot of trust in Internet searches (41% in 2022 vs. 33% in 2019), pharma companies (36% vs. 26%), patient advocacy groups (35% vs. 28%), and support groups (35% vs. 28%), among others. At the same time, trust in primary care providers and specialists has declined slightly from 2019; 78% of consumers say they trust their Primary Care Providers, down from 83% in 2019. 76% say they trust their specialists, down from 80% in 2019.
  • Verification sources: Among those who use specific sources of information1, more than nine in ten verify the information they find. The most common motivation prompting verification behavior, regardless of information source, is wanting to have more than one source with the same information followed by a belief that it’s hard to keep up because healthcare information is changing all the time.

“The data suggest a complex and evolving environment for healthcare consumers, communicators, and providers. The public is consuming healthcare information frequently from various sources and need more help making sense of what they find, what’s credible, and what’s not,” said Michele Salomon, Vice President at The Harris Poll. “Communicators must find new ways to reach consumers as non-traditional sources become trusted health care advisors. In this context – with noted reductions in trust for providers between our 2019 and 2022 surveys – the role of health care providers is diminished.”

Full findings from the report are available for download here.

Harris Poll’s healthcare research covers all key audiences including patients, generalist and specialist providers, payers, hospital system decision makers, policy makers, caregivers, those with specific or chronic illnesses, patient advocacy group or association members, and the broader public. For more information about The Harris Poll or to learn more about our healthcare practice, please visit the

About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the US, tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963. It is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that strives to reveal the authentic values. of modern society to inspire leaders to create a better tomorrow. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible.

About the Media Communications Research Practice
Built on the 50+ year heritage of The Harris Poll, the Media Communications Research practice supports the full scope of clients’ data-driven communications strategy, including paid, earned, social and owned media. Whether the goal is to own and tell their own story through thought leadership research, to measure what the public thinks or knows through public opinion polling, or to influence the policy and legislative agenda by taking a public affairs lens, our consultants guide the research and analysis process, from discovering a unique space a client can own through supporting the full range of outreach activities.

Harris Poll Reputation Practice
The Harris Poll’s reputation insights capabilities are powered by 25 years of dedicated expertise that provide strategic guidance, well beyond just the data or a dashboard. 2022 marks the 23rd annual release of the Harris Poll’s Reputation Quotient (RQ) Study – currently released in partnership with Axios as The Axios-Harris Poll 100 (more details can be found here: 100/)

The Harris Poll’s healthcare reputation expertise is showcased through regularly building and managing programs that cover 20+ global markets and 12+ stakeholders (including the most complex and hard to reach, such as Policy Makers, Payers, and Hospital System Decision Makers, in addition all healthcare Medical Specialties). Today, more than ever, this work also creates actionable value in the context of the ever-changing business, societal and healthcare issue/trend landscape.

1 Sources examined in survey: online sources, health insurance company, government agencies, peer-reviewed medical journals, pharmaceutical companies, and patient advocacy groups or associations

About Stagwell
Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 12,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at


Michele Salomon
[email protected]

SOURCE Stagwell Inc.


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