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Publications 2017, 5(2), 9; doi:10.3390/publications5020009

Social Media Usage for Patients and Healthcare Consumers: A Literature Review

1
Department of Medical Informatics and Biostatistics, Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 6 Louis Pasteur, 400349 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 6 Louis Pasteur, 400349 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alan Singleton
Received: 29 January 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1318 KB, uploaded 24 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

The evolution of Internet from static Web “publishing” to the highly participative, and data-driven, innovations of Web 2.0 has been influencing how people search for health-related information. This review included studies indexed in the PubMed electronic database that focused on social media analysis, examining relationships between participants (patients and healthcare consumers) through social media usage. The obtained results showed that previous research regarding social media’s impact on patients and healthcare consumers aimed at a combination of platforms, but there is a penury of information about niche topics or its usage for retrieving medical information. Nevertheless, social media proved to be to be a promising tool in research mainly for recruitment purposes. The review has outlined that eHealth literacy is an attribute for populations that are female and relatively young and educated. Blogs share personal experiences, YouTube contains unregulated, high- and low-quality information that can mislead individuals, Facebook contains more marketing than health-related information, while Wikipedia is recommended for providing high-quality information. Despite healthcare practitioners’ and healthcare public institutions’ reluctance about the use of social media, this review demonstrates the usefulness of social media for patients and healthcare consumers in retrieving health-related information based on content availability and usage implications, and highlights gaps in knowledge that further research needs to fill. View Full-Text
Keywords: social media; social networking; patients; informatics; communication; health literacy social media; social networking; patients; informatics; communication; health literacy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cordoş, A.-A.; Bolboacă, S.D.; Drugan, C. Social Media Usage for Patients and Healthcare Consumers: A Literature Review. Publications 2017, 5, 9.

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