Heal thyself is mantra for more Americans

May 7, 2001

CHPA survey on consumers and self medication trends conducted by Starch Roper Worldwide

 

Heal thyself is mantra for more Americans

More than half of Americans said they are more likely to treat their own health condition now than they were a year ago, according to a recent survey conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). The survey, Self-Care in the New Millennium, was conducted by telephone in January among 1,505 adults over age 18.

Among the survey’s findings are the following:

•Seventy-one percent of men, compared with 82% of women, said they have used nonprescription medication in the past six months to treat at least one of their common ailments.

•Forty-six percent of men have used a dietary supplement in the past six months, while 60% of women report having used dietary supplements during that time.

•Twenty-three percent of men and 30% of women have used dietary supplements in the past six months as a method of treating common ailments. Thirty-five percent of women who experienced menopause in the past six months say they used dietary supplements to treat the symptoms associated with it.

•Fifty-eight percent of men and 66% of women said that other people asked for their help to understand medical and health issues; 46% of men and 54% of women strongly agreed that pharmacists are a good source of information for minor health problems.

When it comes to older Americans, the survey revealed the following:

•More than half of people aged 65 and older prefers to treat health conditions themselves to consulting a physician. Only 37% of people aged 65-plus reported having been ill in the past three months. Although people 65-plus are the most likely of all age groups to visit the doctor, 66% of older Americans feel that they have a good idea about the diagnosis before they go.

•Forty-eight percent of older Americans said that they are more likely to treat their own health conditions today than they were a year ago.

•Sixty-seven percent of Americans 65 and up have used an OTC drug in the past six months to treat one of the common ailments from which they suffer. In addition, 57% said they have used dietary supplements.

•Half of all Americans 65 and older said they are very satisfied with the nonprescription options available to treat skin problems.

•Forty two percent of people over 65 are receptive to the idea of treating certain serious conditions with nonprescription medications if they were made available and carried appropriate labeling, compared with a national average of 52%.

When it comes to Hispanic Americans, the survey found the following:

•Seventy-two percent of Hispanic Americans agreed with the statement, "I am more likely to treat my own health conditions today than I was 12 months ago." Six in 10 Americans agreed with the statement, as did 64% of African Americans.

•Nineteen percent of Hispanic Americans are very satisfied with OTC options available to treat constipation/diarrhea, compared with 30% of Americans.

•Seventeen percent of Hispanic Americans said they plan to start using or reading about dietary supplements in the coming year, compared with 11% of the general public and 18% of African Americans.

•More than four in 10 Hispanic Americans (42%) said they have used a dietary supplement in the past six months for some reason other than treating a specific ailment, compared with 53% of all Americans.

Sandra Levy

 



Sandra Levy. Heal thyself is mantra for more Americans.

Drug Topics

2001;9.