Contrary to popular belief, a general internet search and social media are some of the least likely sources that people would consider when it comes to finding out about treating minor health conditions, according to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), the organisation that represents Self-Care companies and pharmaceutical innovators in Ireland.
Only a quarter of people would be likely to turn to a general internet search for help regarding minor health conditions, such as coughs, colds, flus and headaches, while only 8% would consider using social media sources for this information. On the other hand, local pharmacies, at 83%, emerged as the source most likely to be used. Over 60% of people would also consider seeking this information directly from verified national health websites, such as the HSE and NHS.
In the midst of ever-increasing pressures on our health system, and GP care becoming more and more difficult to access, the benefits of Self-Care are clear to see with 82% believing that treating minor health conditions at home would put less pressure on the health system. 77% also believe that it is cheaper to self-treat rather than see a GP.
Confidence in self-treating minor health conditions among Irish people is very high, with 84% believing they are capable in this regard, although the research finds that women are somewhat more confident than their male counterparts in this regard. 88% also claim to keep basic medicines for self-management at home.
However, one of the main barriers to self-treating minor health conditions is a fear that they may make the condition worse. Furthermore, only a third of people would feel comfortable treating eye and ear complaints compared to 82% being comfortable treating minor cuts and burns.
“Irish people clearly have faith in their own ability to self-treat minor health conditions, which is vital for maintaining a functioning health system by keeping people out of GP clinics and hospitals. It is encouraging to know that, as a society, we are connected with Self-Care. Health literacy in Ireland has increased and we know where to find reliable sources of health information. While Irish people are comfortable in treating themselves, it is important that we do continue to seek professional advice from healthcare professionals, such as pharmacists and GPs, when necessary.
“Self-care empowers people to manage important elements of their own and their loved ones’ lives. This research indicates that Self-Care is the first step and first choice for most Irish people who are taking an increasingly active role in their healthcare”, said Adam Lee, Chairperson of the IPHA Self-Care Division.
Full survey results can be found here: IPHA Graphic July 2023
For further information contact:
Eimear O’Leary, IPHA Director of Communications and Advocacy
086 397 1653 | email@example.com