About a fifth of American adults say that a disability, handicap, or chronic disease keeps them from participating fully in work, school, housework, or other activities. Half of those living with a disability or chronic disease go online, compared to 74% of those who report no chronic conditions. Fully 86% of internet users living with disability or chronic illness have looked online for information about at least one of 17 health topics, compared with 79% of internet users with no chronic conditions.
Those with chronic conditions are more likely than other e-patients to report that their online searches affected treatment decisions, their interactions with their doctors, their ability to cope with their condition, and their dieting and fitness regimen.
In addition to providing national telephone survey data, this report includes quotes from online essays written by members of an online support group, the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR.org).