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Consumer attitudes about health

Four surprising ways millennials approach and engage with health care


Novant Health today released findings of its first Consumer Attitudes About Health Study noting the latest trends in millennial health attitudes and behavior. The nationwide online survey of 2,104 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, including 419 millennials aged 18-35, was recently conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Novant Health.

Key takeaways and findings from the study suggest millennials approach and engage with health care in four surprising ways:

  • Millennials indicate they would take better care of themselves if they had more time to do so (66 percent); however, they also report spending large amounts of time watching television and engaging on social media.
    The Consumer Attitudes About Health Study indicates millennials spend significantly more time on sedentary activities than they do exercising— on average, they spend almost three hours sitting at a work desk, nearly three hours watching TV, and more than two hours on social media, while exercising makes up only about one hour of a millennial’s day.
  • Millennials are going “old school” when it comes to health information—four times as many millennials report relying on a health care professional for health information (63 percent) vs. using social media (15 percent) as a health resource.
    While millennials spend more than two hours per day on social media on average, only about 21 percent use social media to diagnose themselves or their loved ones. Three in five millennials (61 percent) reported that social media is harmful (vs. helpful) to their health.
  • Millennials understand the importance of making end-of-life plans, but do not feel equipped to do so. While 88 percent feel that planning for end-of-life care is important, millennials don’t feel they have the tools they need to do so.
    More than 60 percent of millennials (62 percent) report not knowing where to start when thinking about end-of life care, suggesting that they may not feel equipped to start planning for end-of-life care regardless of when they plan to start thinking about it.
  • The importance of being treated with respect by health care providers cuts across all demographics, with seven in 10 millennials indicating that being treated well/with respect is how they would define “quality health care”.
    According to the Consumer Attitudes About Health Study’s findings, similar proportions of millennials say that being treated well/with respect (69 percent) and effective treatments (73 percent) are how they would define quality health care. Quality in health care is defined multi-dimensionally, starting with effective treatment, but respect, disclosure, meeting expectations for care and being treated as a person, not a patient, are also commonly mentioned. Around seven in 10 millennials agree with this holistic view of quality, defining health care as effective treatment, being treated with respect, and being kept fully-informed.

    “The closer we look, the more we see how unique the millennial population is,” said Jesse Cureton, Novant Health’s Chief Consumer Officer. “This study provides new insights into how millennials think and behave when it comes to their health, and the more we understand about them, the easier it will be to maintain our commitment as a consumer-centric organization that directly meets the needs of our specific patient population.”

    The nationwide survey was conducted online among 2,104 U.S. adults aged 18 and older (including 419 millennials aged 18-35) by Harris Poll on behalf of Novant Health from March 1-9, 2016. For the complete research method, including weighting variables and additional subgroup sample sizes, visit NovantHealth.org/ConsumerAttitudes.




Published: 9/21/2016