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Zoomers choose social media over pharmacist for health advice, survey finds

Zoomers choose social media over pharmacist for health advice, survey finds

Zoomers choose social media for health advice over a visit to their pharmacist, a survey has found.

Survey data from Patient Claim Line has revealed that 18-24 year olds would rather get medical advice from social media than their pharmacist. 

With an estimated 5.5 million 18-24s across the UK (Source:Statista), this means that millions of young people could be missing out on credible, free advice from their local pharmacist. 

Survey participants were asked to rank who they would go to for medical advice in order of preference, and ranked social media sources (such as Facebook groups, Reddit forums and social media followers) above a visit to the pharmacist.

Whilst the pandemic has made it harder for patients to access medical advice and appointments, pharmacists offer accessible medical advice in person for many minor health conditions.

What can my pharmacist help with? (Source: NHS)

  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • coughs
  • colds
  • flu
  • earache
  • cystitis
  • skin rashes
  • teething
  • red eye

Commenting on the data, a spokesperson for Patient Claim Line said:

“It is surprising that young people would seek medical advice from social media over their pharmacist, as pharmacists are trained medical professionals who are able to give free advice in person.”

“Your local pharmacist is able to provide expert medical advice on a number of minor health concerns, such as sore throats, rashes and cistitis, as well as general health and wellbeing advice. If your symptoms suggest you may be suffering with something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example they will tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.”

“Social media is a great way for people to connect online and many patients find support and communities of patients who are suffering with similar conditions and ailments. These communities can offer comfort and a way for people to connect with other people experiencing the same health problems.”

“However, whilst speaking to friends and family on social media can help to appease concerns over symptoms, it should be no substitute for medical advice. Always speak to a qualified medical professional if you have healthcare concerns. The NHS website has a free postcode tool that allows you to easily find pharmacists in your area.”

The findings have been released as part of Patient Claim Line’s attitudes to healthcare report. Full findings can be found in their survey report here. In light of the findings, the company has also ranked the most popular Drs on Instagram - a full write up on the rankings can be found here

Patient Claim Line are leading medical negligence specialists.

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Last Updated: 06-Oct-2021