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Only Employers Trusted to Address Health Needs

Global trust is waning, with friends and family becoming as trusted as scientists and medical experts when it comes to health, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust and Health. One in three respondents from across the globe agree that by doing their own research, the average person can know as much as a doctor or other medical professional.  

The report finds that many employees trust only their employer to address their health issues and concerns, while others remain neutral about businesses at large being able to adequately address health outcomes. Increasingly, employees actively distrust non-governmental organizations, the government, and media to address their health outcomes and concerns. Further, trust in healthcare companies is declining in many global markets, particularly in the United States, Japan, and South Korea.  

As many as four in 10 employees across the globe regret health decisions that they have made based on misinformation that they received (41%). This is a particularly strong sentiment for the youngest members of the workforce (55%), many of whom are misinformed based on advertisements, friends and family, and user-generated content.  

Further, four in 10 young people only trust healthcare providers who are aligned with their political beliefs. This is compared to 35% of people ages 35 to 54 and 18% of people ages 55 and older. Health fears are intensifying due to politics, with 64% of people concerned about the politicization of medical science and 55% of people concerned about health misinformation.  

Since January 2018, there has been a sharp rise in those who believe that technology will worsen healthcare outcomes (55%), with many concerned about privacy issues, increased healthcare costs, and worse outcomes, the report finds. Many people are also rejecting artificial intelligence innovations in the healthcare sector, with 42% of people rejecting the use of AI in patient information, 32% rejecting the use of AI in drug development, and 31% rejecting AI in medical diagnoses.  

To help improve trust, Edelman recommends that employers prioritize sharing reliable information, empower healthy behaviors, make special accommodations for those with healthcare needs, and improve accessibility of services.  

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