Background: Social media is increasingly used for health interactions. Whilst valuable information is being gathered on the motivators for using online resources within healthcare, there has been less propensity to take a step further back to understand the fundamental sources that fuel these behaviours. The aim of this study was to determine communication and language factors influencing social media for health interactions to provide recommendations for healthcare providers using social media among the general public.Methods: This was a quantitative survey (online and hard copy), and utilises Social Cognitive Theory as a framework wherein to explore individuals use of social media for health interaction. Members of the general public (n=400) participated in this survey, who were recruited from various organisations. The inclusion criteria were: members of the general public; aged 18-65 years; and self-reporting in general good health. An exclusion criterion was individuals who had been diagnosed with a chronic condition within six months prior to research participation. Data was analysed using SPSS (version 21). Ethical approval was obtained.Findings: This survey identified seven communication and language factors influencing the use of social media for health interactions as: widening access; supplementing information from a health professional; clarifying information from a health professional; trust; reliability; format of the content; and medical jargon, which were applied to the Social Cognitive Theory.Discussion: This survey concludes that it is important for healthcare providers to recognise and maximise the potential benefits of social media as an important tool for enhancing health literacy by ensuring that information is accurate, updated, sensitively worded, consistent and in a language that its users can navigate and interpret, to enhance self-efficacy and thus health outcomes among a wide range of the population. Eight recommendations were provided for healthcare providers using social media among the general public to enhance health outcomes.
|Title of host publication||Unknown Host Publication|
|Publisher||International Association for Communication in Healthcare|
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 6 Jun 2016|
|Event||International Conference on Communication in Healthcare - Heidelberg, Germany|
Duration: 6 Jun 2016 → …
|Conference||International Conference on Communication in Healthcare|
|Period||6/06/16 → …|
- social media
- health interactions
Moorhead, A., Long, M., & Hendron, J. (Accepted/In press). A log-on a day keeps the doctor away - Communication and language factors influencing social media use for health interactions. In Unknown Host Publication International Association for Communication in Healthcare.