Self-researching treatments or consulting a doctor – what do global consumers prefer doing first?
September 5th, 2022, Janice Fernandes

Self-researching treatments or consulting a doctor – what do global consumers prefer doing first?

Data from YouGov Global Profiles reveals that two in five respondents across the world (40%) agree that they research treatment options before going to the doctor.

Over half of the people in MENA (53%) are likely to self-diagnose and look up treatment options before consulting a doctor. Slightly fewer, but still half the population in the Americas (50%) also share the same habit.

Consumers in Europe are not as likely to do their own research, suggesting that they directly consult a doctor when necessary – 39% agree and 34% disagree.

APAC registers the lowest proportion of consumers (36%) who agree with the statement’; however, the share of consumers who don’t research treatment options is also on the lower end (24%).

Does an aversion to hospitals make people research treatments before consulting a doctor?

Over two in five global consumers (44%) who research treatment options before asking the doctor say that hospitals “freak them out”. The opposite is true for consumers who don’t research treatment options – only a third (30%) say that hospitals freak them out.

Consumers in MENA and APAC who do their own research are more likely than global “self-researchers” to fear hospitals. While MENA registers slightly over half of respondents (51%), fewer consumers in APAC share the same fear (46%).

Self-researchers in Europe and the Americas are less likely to say that hospitals freak them out (39% and 38% respectively). The high number of people in both markets who disagree with the statement (44% and 47%), suggests that consumers in Europe and Americas do their research for reasons other than avoiding hospitals.

Explore our living data - for free

To receive monthly insights about the health and pharma industry register here.

To read YouGov’s latest intelligence on the health and pharma sector explore here.

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today.

Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ years in China and 18+ years in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.