The use of social media in healthcare has been widely advocated, but there is little evidence describing the current state of the science and whether or not these tools can be used to benefit patient populations.
We mapped the state of the existing literature evaluating the use of social media in patient and caregiver populations.
There is an extensive and rapidly growing body of literature available investigating the use of social media in patient and caregiver populations.
Most studies have been descriptive; however, with such widespread use, evaluations of effectiveness are needed.
In studies that have examined effectiveness, positive conclusions are often reported, despite the non-significant findings.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Our search was comprehensive and we included an extensive body of literature, across conditions, populations and study designs.
Social media is constantly evolving, leading to challenges in keeping the search updated.
A more in-depth analysis is needed on specific topics, conditions and populations to guide the use and implementation of social media interventions.
Via rob halkes, Dinesh Chindarkar