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Rising numbers of patients are turning to pharmacists for health advice


Rising numbers of patients are turning to pharmacists for health advice

Increasing numbers of patients are turning to pharmacists for health advice, according to a survey published this month.

According to a report by the communications agency Kaizo, based on research carried out last month by the market research platform OnePulse, 22 per cent of the 500 people who responded said they depend on pharmacists for health advice compared with five per cent in 2020.

The study also found more people are turning to social media for health-related information, with those aged 55 and over putting more trust in advice on those platforms than younger age groups.

In the last two years, the report said, there has been a 70 per cent increase in the number of consumers relying on social media to give them “trustworthy health information.”

However, fewer people were using mainstream media for health information, going from 28 per cent in 2022 to 20 per cent. “This trend can perhaps be attributed to the personalised nature of content delivery and the interactive features that enable users to engage with news in real-time on social media channels,” Kaizo said.

Forty-five per cent of respondents said they would “lose trust in health information if it didn’t come from a qualified healthcare professional” compared with 70 per cent in 2020.

The study also revealed 29 per cent – an increase on 17 per cent last year – would not trust information that conflicts with their personal beliefs and “lived experiences,” while 35 per cent said they would lose trust in health information that did “not come from someone with personal experience.”

Kaizo’s director-healthcare and pharma Anita Nahal said: “Healthcare communicators can no longer rely on experts and HCPs to have the same impact when it comes to building trust with audiences. Relatability is key, and our research highlights the need to reassess whether tried and tested sources still fit the bill in today’s environment.

“Audiences are re-writing the rules when it comes to how and where they engage with health information, so healthcare communicators need to keep pace and adapt. Don’t be afraid to shake things up for 2024.” 


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