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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3DZ03840
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Social media use among patients and caregivers: A scoping review. Open Access
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Hamm, M. P.
Scott, S. D.
Given, L. M.
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- Journal Article (Published)
OBJECTIVE: To map the state of the existing literature evaluating the use of social media in patient and caregiver populations. DESIGN: Scoping review. DATA SOURCES: Medline, CENTRAL, ERIC, PubMed, CINAHL Plus Full Text, Academic Search Complete, Alt Health Watch, Health Source, Communication and Mass Media Complete, Web of Knowledge and ProQuest (2000-2012). STUDY SELECTION: Studies reporting primary research on the use of social media (collaborative projects, blogs/microblogs, content communities, social networking sites, virtual worlds) by patients or caregivers. DATA EXTRACTION: Two reviewers screened studies for eligibility; one reviewer extracted data from relevant studies and a second performed verification for accuracy and completeness on a 10% sample. Data were analysed to describe which social media tools are being used, by whom, for what purpose and how they are being evaluated. RESULTS: Two hundred eighty-four studies were included. Discussion forums were highly prevalent and constitute 66.6% of the sample. Social networking sites (14.8%) and blogs/microblogs (14.1%) were the next most commonly used tools. The intended purpose of the tool was to facilitate self-care in 77.1% of studies. While there were clusters of studies that focused on similar conditions (eg, lifestyle/weight loss (12.7%), cancer (11.3%)), there were no patterns in the objectives or tools used. A large proportion of the studies were descriptive (42.3%); however, there were also 48 (16.9%) randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Among the RCTs, 35.4% reported statistically significant results favouring the social media intervention being evaluated; however, 72.9% presented positive conclusions regarding the use of social media. CONCLUSIONS: There is an extensive body of literature examining the use of social media in patient and caregiver populations. Much of this work is descriptive; however, with such widespread use, evaluations of effectiveness are required. In studies that have examined effectiveness, positive conclusions are often reported, despite non-significant findings.
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Hamm, M. P., Chisholm, A., Shulhan, J., Milne, A., Scott, S. D., Given, L. M., & Hartling, L. (2013). Social media use among patients and caregivers: A scoping review. BMJ Open, 3(5).
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