Global: Do consumer reviews guide choice of healthcare services?
December 7th, 2022, Clifton Mark

Global: Do consumer reviews guide choice of healthcare services?

Consumer-generated reviews are ubiquitous online. Yelp houses consumer reviews of restaurants, Metacritic reviews of movies while Google Maps has reviews of nearly every business that has a physical location. If you use them, apps like Uber and Airbnb contain reviews of you. Many people use online reviews to help them pick restaurants or book hotels, but would you use them to choose healthcare services? YouGov asked over 18000 consumers in 17 markets about how they use reviews to help them make purchase decisions.

Consumer electronics is the product category most guided by consumer reviews, with 43% of respondents saying that they regularly consult reviews for this type of purchase. Consumer reviews of hotels, restaurants and bars are also quite popular, with 42% of global respondents regularly consulting them to make their purchase decisions. Respondents are less likely to rely on consumer reviews when choosing healthcare services with only one fifth (20%) saying they regularly use them in this context. This is up slightly from 2021 when 18% of respondents said the same.

There are some statistically significant differences in demographics. Women (21%) are more likely than men (19%) to consult consumer reviews of healthcare services, and college graduates (23%) more likely than non-graduates (18%). Similarly, those in full-time work (22%) are more inclined to consult reviews than those who aren’t working (18%). When it comes to age, 25-34’s (23%) and 35-44’s (22%) are most likely to choose healthcare services based on reviews, whereas those aged 55+ are least likely at 17%.

There is much more dramatic variation between different markets. On the whole, people in Asian markets are likelier to turn to consumer reviews to guide their healthcare purchase decisions. India is most likely at 36%, followed by UAE (32%) and Indonesia (27%). Poland is the only European country that uses reviews more than the global average, at 26%. Britons, by contrast, are the least likely to use online reviews to choose healthcare services of all the markets surveyed, at only 10%. Results show that the public in Denmark (12%) and Sweden (14%) are also relatively uninterested in the opinions of their fellow consumers. China and the US come in near the average at 19% and 18% respectively.

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Methodology: YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 514 and 2023 for each market. Surveys were conducted online in October 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus.  

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash