Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: There is ongoing uncertainty
about how often consumers use the Internet to search for health-related information.
For instance, although a 2000 survey found that 55% of individuals with Internet
access have used the Web to find health or medical information,1 Phillipov
and Phillips2 reported that 17 health-related
search terms they found in the first 300 search terms of the Wordtracker Top
500 keyword report comprised fewer than 1% of all queries. It is possible,
however, that people may use many different health-related keywords that are
so rare that they never appear on the Top 500 Keywords list. To address this,
we analyzed a random sample of search terms entered into a search engine over
a longer period of time.
Eysenbach G, Köhler C. Health-Related Searches on the Internet. JAMA. 2004;291(24):2946. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2946