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Health activators lack confidence in primary healthcare

Survey finds patient decision-makers increasingly turning to non-traditional sources
Kantar Health health activators

Patients and healthcare consumers are turning to non-traditional health resources to bridge the gaps in primary healthcare systems that do not satisfactorily meet their health and wellness needs, according to a new report.

Based on findings from Kantar Health's National Health and Wellness Survey, the report explores how healthcare decision-makers - or 'health activators' - influence the care of their own and their families' health.

Of the 9,217 people surveyed across Brazil, Germany, Japan, the US and the UK, millennials - those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s - were most likely to seek healthcare information beyond what is provided by a healthcare professional.

Often responsible for the care of older relatives, millennials came in with the lowest percentage of satisfaction with primary healthcare providers as a source of information at 52%.

The group consistently reported the highest level of satisfaction in utilising alternative sources including internet health sites, product information produced by pharmaceutical companies and public health figures.

Knowledge about staying healthy was the highest priority for millennial health activators, however decision-makers across the board said that information explaining how medicines work and interact with each other is lacking.

Over half of patients and carers reported satisfaction with their doctor's treatment of their symptoms and ability to relate the results in an understandable way, however the majority found their interactions limited to 'sick care'.

Only 43% of respondents said that their healthcare provider discusses preventive care measures with them, with over two-thirds reporting that their doctor does not help them to understand the health consequences of lifestyle choices.

With health activators across the board no longer differentiating between 'health' and 'wellness', this perceived lack of holistic care has resulted in a distancing between younger generations and their primary healthcare providers.

Kathy Annunziata, vice president of research services at Kantar Health, commented: “Who is making the decisions and the age of the decision-maker influence the healthcare needs and issues being addressed.

“As the healthcare industry shifts toward partnering and engaging with consumers, it needs to think differently about how to reach these health and wellness decision-makers and what to say to them.”

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

11th October 2016

From: Healthcare

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