Wikipedia is doctors' top source for medical information

Crohn's disease is among the website's most-searched conditions

Patients and physicians turn to Wikipedia for health care information more than any other source, according to a new IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report.

Study shows Wikipedia offers accurate medical data

According to the report, 50% of physicians said they have consulted the site for information on certain medical conditions. IMS found that Wikipedia's top 100 English pages for health care topics were each accessed an average of 1.9 million times during the past year.

According to the report, physicians and patients most frequently used Wikipedia to access information on less-common diseases. The most commonly viewed health-related pages, each with around four million views, contained information on:

  • Crohn's disease;
  • Multiple Sclerosis;
  • Pneumonia; and
  • Tuberculosis.

The report found that patients under age 39 were more likely to search Wikipedia for information on diseases or treatments before beginning treatment, while patients older than age 54 were more likely to search for health care information on Wikipedia after receiving medical care.

With Wikipedia's help, 'boy genius' makes cancer breakthrough

Meanwhile, an examination of prescription drug sales found a link between page views and medication use, according to the report (Fearnow, CBS Connecticut, 1/29).

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