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Chat 116 Summary: Social media and self-care in cancer survivors

February 26, 2013

By Fanny Gillet

On February 20th, #hcsmca discussed the link between social media and self-care in cancer survivors. To begin, I’d like to list the studies on the use of social media in cancer care and related resources that were shared during the chat.

The first question asked

  • T1: How can social media help encourage self-care in cancer survivors?
  • T1a: Cancer survivors: Do your sm networks contribute to your well-being? How
  • T1b: Health providers: Do you use SM to encourage self-care in cancer survivors? How?

Participants felt that social media is a great way for healthcare professionals to learn from patients and to share resources with them.

As for patients, social media appears to be an easy way for them to share their personal stories. It may also help destigmatize and improve quality of life.

The second question was about the way social media can be used into program initiatives for cancer self-care. One of the first shared ideas was the possibility of using social media to create a virtual-coach program that patients could use to manage side effects while in treatment. Social media could also be used to collect data and to identify and manage symptoms.

hcsmca-ers also debated about the communities leaders and who can and should take this role? Should they be trained? We saw recommendations to not try to control online communities and nurture the natural leaders.

More and more studies are showing that the use of social media does improve psycho-social benefits and a lot of patients already use these communications tools. However, healthcare professionals and the healthcare system could take better advantage of these technologies to help their patients.

Read the full transcript here. What would you like to add?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2013 5:13 am

    Thanks for sharing links to these research studies and including my own research in the list. It is a fascinating and growing area of research and one that I am excited to be part of. As the studies show, an increasing number of cancer survivors are using online media to engage in health-related social networking not only as a channel for personal thoughts and feelings, but also as a forum for on-going discussion and information sharing. Social media in this way provides healthcare researchers and practitioners with a framework for a richer understanding of the lived experience of cancer survivorship, and how it evolves over time and at key life stages.

    Like

Trackbacks

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