Calgary, AB – Over one-quarter (28%) of online Canadians agree that
they would prefer to have their first visit with their doctor via email, text messaging or webcam
according to a recent Ipsos Interactive Reid report. Eight percent strongly agree that they
would prefer to use one of these communications mediums, while 20% somewhat agree.
Females (33%) are significantly more likely to agree that they would like to have their first
visit with their doctor via email, text message or webcam. Furthermore, there are notable
differences by age group, with those 55 or over being significantly less likely (23%) to agree
with the statement. In contrast, 40% of respondents aged 18-34 agreed that they would be
willing to have an initial meeting with their doctor via email, text message or webcam.
Agreement also increases with the respondents' level of education.
Study author Mark Laver noted that "one of the key findings here is that it shows how
comfortable many Canadians are with using the Internet and communicating online. There
isn't much that is more personal that one's own health. The fact that some are receptive to
communicating online with their doctor shows how far the Internet and online communication
Online Canadians appear to be slightly less likely to want to have an initial visit with a
random doctor via text message or webcam. One-fifth (22%) of online Canadians would prefer
to have their first visit with "a doctor" versus 28% for their doctor specifically. Six percent (6%)
strongly agree that they would prefer to use one of these communications mediums, while
16% somewhat agree.
Again, older online Canadians are less likely to agree (16%) that they would be willing to
have their initial consultation via email text message or webcam with "a doctor". One-third
(33%) of respondents aged 18-34 agreed that they would prefer their initial meeting to be via
email, text message or webcam.
Study author Mark Laver noted that "what this data may ultimately reveal is that some
members of the general public are open to the idea of an initial consultation with any doctor
via online methods. This could not only reduce wait times at health care facilities, but also
reduce operating expenses for provincial health agencies. Many businesses have already
determined that using online chat and email can be a method to service more people in the
same amount of time, thus reducing operating expenses."
This release is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid syndicated study, the
Inter@ctive Reid Report, fielded in Q4, 2009. This online survey of 879 Canadian adults was
conducted via the Ipsos Online Panel. The results are based on a sample where quota
sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's
composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota
samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to
approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100%
response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.31 percentage points, 19 times
out of 20.
For more information on this news release please contact:
Associate Vice President
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country's leading provider of
public opinion research. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 300
research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of
telephone call centres in Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line
panels. Ipsos Reid's Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are staffed with
seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, offering the
premier suite of research vehicles in Canada—including the Ipsos Trend Report, the leading
source of public opinion in the country—all of which provide clients with actionable and
relevant information. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market
To learn more, visit www.ipsos.ca
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