DIGITAL HEALTH LITERACY DILEMMA IN AUSTRALIA

Consumer Healthcare Products Australia’s Self-Care Opportunity Report, which gathered views from 2,000 adults to uncover their knowledge and skills in managing everyday health conditions, has uncovered a significant digital health challenge. Key findings include:

  • 66% of Australians seek information online for common health conditions before consulting a healthcare professional, but 91% do not fully understand the information they find
  • 80% of Millennials go online for healthcare information before seeing a GP or pharmacist, while 47% of Baby Boomers go online as a first port of call
  • 97% feel responsible for managing their own health and 84% want to improve their health skills and knowledge to be more engaged in their health, but 30% consider their health literacy level to be low
  • 81% use health websites, apps or social media to manage common health conditions
Source: CHP Australia’s Self-Care Opportunity Report

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: The latest survey by CHP Australia raises some real concerns about health literacy. As CEO Deon Schoombie comments: “[This] report clearly shows an urgent need to help Australians with digital health literacy – to know where to find, how to interpret and how to use health information from online sources. This is very important as we can clearly see those with higher literacy levels have higher engagement in their health … We have an opportunity now to make a significant difference to our overall national health status by making a greater investment in self-care education, upskilling digital health literacy and creating more verified and easy-to-access digital health sources.”

So, unlike the outlook for the market in 2022, where the evidence is both insubstantial and to an extent contradictory, the message about consumers is clear. If we want consumers to fully participate in self-care, we need to give them access to reliable information with which they can make informed decisions affecting their own health.

Gain valuable tools and techniques to expand your health literacy at the next workshop hosted by the CHC Training Academy, on 26 October in Bucharest! The following day, RASCI will host a free 1-day conference, focusing on Health Literacy — Driving Self-Care Forward, beginning with an exclusive keynote presentation from Nicholas Hall. To register, or for more information on group booking rates, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

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