Consumers trust their doctors the most for information on medical and health treatments
November 6th, 2023, Lesley Simeon

Consumers trust their doctors the most for information on medical and health treatments

Signing up for a medical or health treatment can often feel daunting. But which sources do consumers trust when it comes to information about health treatments? A recent YouGov survey reveals that medical professionals emerge as the most trusted sources of such information.

According to the survey - which asked consumers across 17 international markets about their level of trust in a variety of sources when it comes to information about health and medical treatments - nearly three in five (59%) of all consumers say they have a high level of trust in doctors that they know personally and/or have been treated by before.

Over two in five (43%) of them highly trust doctors in general while equal proportions of them trust nurses and pharmacists (37% each).

Among sources that consumers express low trust in, our survey lists advertisements (41%), social media (37%) and traditional media like newspapers and television (34%).

In many sectors, influencers are seen as a reliable medium when it comes to relaying product-related news to consumers - but not when it comes to information around medical treatments, our data shows. Nearly half (47%) of all consumers surveyed cite influencers as a source they do not trust. Further, just a third (33%) of all consumers say they do not trust social media as a source of medical information.

By country, sources that consumers most rely on for medical treatment-related information

Sources that consumers highly trust 

Consumers in India account for the largest proportion (70%) of those who highly trust doctors who they know personally or/and have been treated by before for information about health treatments. Consumers in UAE (68%) and Denmark (65%) follow.

As for doctors in general, over half of all consumers in Denmark (54%), UAE (52%) and India (52%) rely on them for information on health treatment. Nearly half of Brits (49%) do so as well, while Americans (36%) are the least likely to trust doctors in general for such information.

Over half of all Brits (51%) trust nurses for medical treatments-related information. So do 53% of consumers in Denmark - the most likely across all markets. Over a quarter (27%) of Germans trust nurses as well - the least likely across all markets to do so.

Nearly half of all consumers in Great Britain (47%) are trusting of pharmacists, followed by those in Denmark (43%) and Germany (39%).

Sources that consumers don’t seem to trust a lot 

Consumers in the UAE (46%) and Denmark (43%) are most likely to trust public health authorities for information on medical treatments, whereas those in Germany (19%) are the least likely to follow suit.

UAE leads when it comes to trusting sources that consumers from other markets don’t seem to value - health brands (28%), traditional media (16%), social media (11%) and advertisements (12%) and influencers (11%). UAE, India and Singapore are the only three markets that show double digits when it comes to trusting sources like traditional media.

Just a single percent of Brits trust sources like social media, advertisements and influencers.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2000 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in August 2023. 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 Surveys: Serviced.

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