Consumers’ trust in health information from non-healthcare sources rises in Harris Poll’s 2022 Health Information Trends survey.

Trust in information from secondary sources such as internet searches, pharmaceutical companies, patient advocacy groups and many others has grown since the 2019 study; Consumers need help making sense of online health information.

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

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

  • Consumers bypass healthcare providers for health information: Most US adults agree that they can often find the health information they need without going to a health care provider (63%). Almost the same proportion (61%) agree that they need help making sense of all the online health information available.
  • The share of adults who trust sources of information other than health care providers has increased since 2019. Consumers report a lot or a great deal of trust in internet searches (41% in 2022 vs. 33% in 2019), pharmaceutical 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 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.
  • Sources to check: Among those who use specific sources of information1, more than nine out of ten verify the information they find. The most common motivation driving checking behavior, regardless of information source, is the desire to have more than one source of the same information, followed by the belief that it is difficult to maintain as health information changes throughout time.

“Data suggests a complex and evolving environment for consumers, communicators and healthcare providers. The public often uses health information from a variety of sources and needs more help to make sense of what they are finding, what is credible and what is not,” said Michelle Salomon, vice president at The Harris Poll. “Communicators must find new ways to reach consumers as non-traditional sources become trusted health advisors. In this context – with the marked decrease in trust in providers between our surveys from 2019 to 2022 – the role of healthcare providers has diminished.”

The full findings of the report are available for download here.

Harris Poll’s healthcare research covers all key audiences, including patients, general practitioners and specialty providers, payers, hospital system decision makers, policy makers, caregivers, people with specific or chronic conditions, patient advocacy groups or member associations and the wider public. For more information about The Harris Poll or to learn more about our healthcare practice, please visit

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

On the research practice of media communications
Building on The Harris Poll’s 50+ year legacy, the media communications research practice supports the full range of data-driven client communications strategies, including paid, earned, social and owned media. Whether the goal is to own and tell their own story through thought leadership research, measure what the public thinks or knows through public opinion research, or influence the policy and legislative agenda through the lens of public affairs, our consultants guide the research and analysis process, from discovering a unique space that the client can own, through maintaining the full range of promotional activities.

Harris Poll Reputation Practice
Harris Poll’s reputation analytics capabilities are powered by 25 years of specialized experience that provides strategic guidance that goes far beyond the data or dashboard. 2022 brands The 23rdrd annual edition of Harris Poll’s Reputation Quotient (RQ) survey – currently published in partnership with Axios as The Axios-Harris Poll 100 (more details available here: 100/)

Harris Poll’s healthcare reputation expertise is demonstrated by regularly building and managing programs that span 20+ global markets and 12+ stakeholders (including the most complex and hard-to-reach such as policymakers, payers and decision makers in the hospital system, in addition all healthcare Medical specialties). Today, more than ever, this work also creates actionable value in the context of an ever-changing business, societal and health problem/trend.

1 Sources examined in the study: 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 designed to transform marketing. We deliver creative delivery at scale for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-driving creativity with leading technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our more than 12,000 professionals in over 34 countries are united under a single goal: to drive efficiency and improve business results for their clients. Join us at


Michelle Salomon
[email protected]

SOURCE Stagwell Inc.

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