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When Selecting A Child's Doctor, Families Prefer Grapevine Over Online Ratings

However, younger parents are more likely to say online scores for physicians are very important, according to U-M's National Poll on Children's Health

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Numerous websites are available to rate just about any service or product: restaurant food, hotel service and even a pediatrician's care. However, a new poll from the University of Michigan shows that only 25 percent of parents say they consider doctor rating websites very important in their search for a child's physician.

But the latest University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health did show that younger parents, those under 30, were more likely to say that online doctor ratings are very important. And mothers were more likely than fathers to say that those ratings are very important.

"More and more families are going online not only to find out about medical conditions but also in their search for the right doctor for their child. What we found in the poll was that the perceived importance of online ratings appears to differ widely based on factors such as parent age and gender," says David A. Hanauer, a primary care pediatrician and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at U-M. Hanauer collaborated with the National Poll on Children's Health regarding this study of doctor rating websites.

The poll showed that when it comes to online doctor ratings, mothers (30%) are more likely than fathers (19%) to think such ratings are very important. Parents under age 30 (44%) are more likely than parents 30 or older (21%) to think doctor rating websites are very important.

"These data suggest that younger families are more likely to rely on online ratings, which means over time we'd expect the use of these websites will keep increasing," Hanauer says.

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