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Social media and patient self-management: not all sites are created equal


Ellis, L and Showell, C and Turner, P, Social media and patient self-management: not all sites are created equal, Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 183 pp. 291-295. ISSN 0926-9630 (2013) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2013 ITCH 2013 Steering Committee and IOS Press.

DOI: doi:10.3233/978-1-61499-203-5-291


This paper compares two social media sites that aim to support patients to enhance self-management. The first site, PatientsLikeMe is a well established global site designed to allow peer-to-peer communication between people with similar conditions. The second, HealthShare, is a recently developed site for Australians described as "Australia’s Social Health Network". The comparison conducted examines the purpose, ownership, and design of both sites as well as how the data they collect is used. Analysis highlights that PatientsLikeMe actively facilitates patient self-management, while HealthShare is revealed to be a professionally moderated health information portal presented as a social networking site. While the impetus for the development of PatientsLikeMe is clear, the motives underpinning HealthShare are less obvious. With increasing patient interest in connecting with, and sharing information with one another, awareness of the nature and motivations underpinning sites that provide these services is of increasing relevance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:social media, self-management, PatientsLikeMe, HealthShare
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health informatics and information systems
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Ellis, L (Associate Professor Leonie Ellis)
UTAS Author:Showell, C (Dr Chris Showell)
UTAS Author:Turner, P (Associate Professor Paul Turner)
ID Code:86246
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Information and Communication Technology
Deposited On:2013-08-30
Last Modified:2017-11-13

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