HON Survey Results - Oct 2005
HON Survey Results
In this issue...
* The Voice of HON powered by ReadSpeaker
* Trends in Online Health Information: Results from Ninth Annual HON Survey
Dear survey respondent,
Thanking you for taking the time to participate in HON's Ninth Annual Survey
of Health and Medical Internet Users.
The survey results have now been published and, as promised, we are making
them available to you.
The attached newsletter contains a synopsis of our findings.
A complete analysis can also be found at
Once again, we thank you for your cooperation.
The Voice of HON powered by ReadSpeaker
"Accessibility is a priority for us" says Celia Boyer, Executive Director of HON.
"Health-related web sites in particular need to reach out to disabled users."
You can now listen to the HON web site in English and French.
Learn more at
Trends in Online Health Information: Results from Ninth Annual HON Survey
Results and analysis of HON’s annual survey of health Internet users have been published.
Now in its ninth edition, the HON survey observing trends in online consumer behavior
is frequently cited by researchers and widely used in government and industry.
As Internet use continues to grow and new users join the fold, the number of experienced –
and older - users has increased. Nearly half of the 2005 survey respondents
have been online for seven years or more.
While Internet users remain ambivalent about regulation of the Internet, certified
or accredited sites are favored. Public information about rating systems needs to
be improved though, as one in five users surveyed were unfamiliar with any of the
leading quality symbols.
The domain name extensions, ‘.edu’, ‘.gov’ and ‘.org’ were selected by 80% or more
of respondents as indicators of credibility, with ‘.com’ lagging at 55.5%. Interest
remains high for a ‘.health’ domain extension limited to sites containing medical
evidence, pointing out once again consumers’ need for greater confidence in online
health information sources.
In their search for health information, professional and non-professional users
exhibited similar preferences. Both groups favor non-commercial sources,
with nearly 75% of all users describing commercial sites, including those of drug
companies and news media, as ‘least-preferred’. Increasingly, consumers are visiting
sites intended for professionals, adding to physician worries that online access
could undermine patients' confidence in their advice. Doctors are using the Internet
more in their medical practice, but nearly half of non-professional users surveyed
think their physician should recommend online sources.
Read more analysis and see the detailed survey results at