2016-03-24 – Research shows social media beneficial for sharing and building upon patient experiences.
University of Leicester research suggests patients often seek medical knowledge from social media platforms rather than traditional medical sources…
“Patient experiences shared on digital platforms are also becoming a point of reference for other patients, sometimes in isolation of traditional medical sources…”
Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms can be useful tools for helping patients with rare medical diseases exchange knowledge and build communities, research from the University of Leicester has found.
Patient experiences shared on digital platforms are also becoming a point of reference for other patients, sometimes in isolation of traditional medical sources, the study published in the journal Information, Communication and Society suggests.
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The study entitled ‘Health Activism and the Logic of Connective Action. A Case Study of Rare Disease Patient Organisations’ examined online interactions in rare disease patient organisations in order to interpret how and to what extent patient organisations exploit online networking structures to provide alternative platforms for people to find information on and discuss health issues.
The study suggests that digital media eases one-way, two-way and crowdsourced process of health knowledge sharing; provides personalised routes to health-related public engagement; and creates new ways to access health information – particularly where patient experiences and medical advice are both equally valued.
Dr Stefania Vicari from the University of Leicester’s Department of Media and Communication, who led the study, explained: “This project shows the potential of online communication tools for…