The following analysis discusses the demographic characteristics of each of the five social media platforms in the survey. Fully 72% of online American adults use Facebook, a proportion unchanged from September 2014. Usage continues to be…
While social networks can help improve the public’s perceptions about behavioral health, they also have the potential to do harm.
For those living with behavioral health issues, sharing personal information on social networks might have a significant impact on their employment and relationships.
As a result, it is important for behavioral health providers to help individuals understand the possible risks surrounding what they share in social networks. These risks are often acknowledged when registering to an online community or as a disclaimer for agreement before posting.
While it can be helpful to share personal stories and connect with like-minded people, it’s possible that a story told to your closest friends could end up having a much more public audience. What’s more, once something is posted, it’s hard to take it back.
With that in mind, behavioral health providers should remind people of the following when they are discussing behavioral health issues on social networks:
If you post information using your real name, it’s possible that information you share will be attributed to you and could affect your employment status or relationships. If you’re concerned about these issues, it might be best to post using an alias — or not post at all.When sharing stories about other people, seek their permission first.Because social networks typically allow comments or replies, some users might post unsavory or negative comments. Others might have differing opinions. Before you post, be prepared for such responses.Asking questions or seeking advice can be helpful. But because anyone can respond, the responses you receive might be off target and not informed by experience or expertise. It’s always best to seek for advice about behavioral health concerns directly from trained experts rather than through social networks.
In addition, for those who care about promoting a positive dialogue about behavioral health, remember to encourage positive conversations and to connect those who have behavioral health concerns to the appropriate resources for help.
However, you must be careful to ensure that you’re engaging in an effective way — otherwise you can turn a well-intentioned post into something harmful.
“Digital media is shareable and permanent, which means when posting about behavioral health on social media, your content can have a large impact,” says SAMHSA public health advisor Kaitlin Abell. “Anyone can use their online presence to share accurate and respectful content about behavioral health and connect followers with quality resources and information.”
To have a positive impact on social media, Ms. Abell says it’s important to remember that language matters.
For example, use “person first” language when talking about mental and substance use disorders. Instead of referring to someone as a “depressed man”, it’s better to say a “man with depression.”
“The good news is that social media can improve understanding of mental and substance use disorders and encourage people to seek help,” says Ms. Abell.
Modern healthcare is at a tipping point. The use of technology in our health sector, backed up by incentives to implement digital solutions, is increasing rapidly—driven not only by a need to improve efficiency and outcomes—but also to reduce costs. Pressure is mounting on physicians and medical facilities to join the digital revolution. Just like in other industries, this new breed of healthcare provider and IT expert are working with cloud storage capabilities, wireless functionalities, and mobile phone technologies. Patients and doctors are also embracing wearable tech, remote patient/doctor interaction, even mobile treatment and the prescribing of medication.
At the same time, they’re trying to determine how to best connect, collect, and care for all of this data and relying on their IT teams and/or managed service providers (or both) to deliver the solutions they need.. As you might imagine, this is very private, extremely personal, very sensitive data being digitally collected and kept. Arguably, security and compliance have to be one of the top priorities in digital health. Personally, I think these advances in medical tech are incredible, but what becomes clear, as with any other industry, is that all of these advancements, along with the astounding amount of patient and potential medical research data collected, is meaningless if it can’t be adequately protected.
Clinical research is changing. No longer the sole preserve of clinicians and researchers, the Internet and new digital technologies are reinventing the way in which patients take part in the clinical trials process.
In the past decade there has been a revolution in how patients access health information. The Internet is increasingly the first ...
A Pew Research Center study reported in April that 92% of teenagers go online daily, with 71% using more than one social media site. Twenty-four percent of the teens surveyed said they went online “almost constantly.”
Though no cause-and-effect link has been proven, new research shows that teens who spend a significant amount of time using social media are more likely to report unaddressed mental health concerns.
Does Social Media Harm Mental Health?
To explore the effects that social media use might have on mental health, Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga and Rosamund Lewis analyzed the responses to a health survey taken by 750 Ottawa teens in grades seven through 12. Almost two-thirds of respondents reported “very good” or “excellent” mental health. A fifth reported “good” mental health, while 17% characterized their mental health as “poor.” About a quarter of respondents said they had unmet mental health needs, and the rest said they were getting adequate help. Thirteen percent of participants said they had considered suicide.
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Researchers explored the teens’ use of social media sites and found a correlation between frequent use of social media and a greater risk for mental health problems. Heavy users of social media were also more likely to report thoughts of suicide. Overall, teens who reported using social media for more than two hours a day were more likely to report having “poor” mental health. They were also more likely to say their mental health needs were not being adequately addressed.
Though the researchers did not directly explore the reasons why social media may have a negative impact on mental health, the study, published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, suggests that social media anonymity can increase exposure tocyberbullying. Social media sites might also encourage teens to compare themselves to others. One recent study found that women who use Facebook to compare themselves to other women are more likely to experience issues with body image.
However, some teens who are experiencing mental health issues may use social media to connect with other individuals, thus combating isolation and loneliness. Spending time online may increase the risk of cyberbullying or make it easy for young people to compare themselves to others, but many teens are able to build strong friendships and become part of online communities through social media and other Internet use. Therefore, it is possible that some teens reporting untreated mental health issues obtain some benefit from their use of social media.
Because the study uncovered a correlation, not a cause, the research team cautions against drawing conclusions about the negative effects of social media use. Instead, they advise limiting social media use to two hours a day and encourage parents and guardians to monitor children for changes in mental health.
Social media has done a lot of good for the world—it has become a platform to reconnect with friends and family, gives a voice to those who would otherwise not have one, and also helps people spread information to one another. One of the biggest flaws, however, is that social media can also be used to spread misinformation. Many posts often go viral without any background information, mostly in the form of memes and videos, and people are quick to jump on liking and sharing posts without having full knowledge or context of what they are sharing.
One of the biggest pieces of misinformation that has been spread is the link between autism and vaccines. While the link between vaccinating children and autism has been thoroughly debunked (one study had 95,000 participants), many still believe that there is a link. Celebrities such as actor Jim Carrey and model Jenny McCarthy are at the forefront of the anti-vaccination movement, and their influence allows misinformation regarding autism and vaccines to continue.
It has even gotten to the point where several children were infected with measles at Disneylandbecause of parents’ refusal to vaccinate their children. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000, yet 644 people were infected in 2014, showing that misinformation on social media might play a part in parents refusing to vaccinate their kids.
Doctors have been split on whether or not to be active on social media—some say that it’s a waste of time, citing that there is no return on investment and significant burnout, while others believe social media can be the tool to help patients to become healthier and also stop misinformation from spreading online. “Studies suggest that patients forget more than 50 percent of what they are told in the doctor’s office. Add to that misremembering or misinterpretation, and the information holes grow even larger,” said Dr. Howard Luks, Chief of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at University Orthopedics, PC and Westchester Medical Center on KevinMD, a popular medical blog.
Dr. Kathryn A. Hughes, a Massachusetts-based surgeon, used to be skeptical of doctors being active on social media, citing privacy concerns and professionalism. “Be mindful of privacy and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which governs patient privacy), and aware that content once posted can never really be deleted or retracted. Be careful that private and professional content do not mix, although the reality is that there really isn’t any such thing as truly private content,” she said.
Dr. Hughes also said that doctors being active on social media can also create a community of professionals where doctors can share information with one another and work together. “I also see social media as part of the solution to reestablish this sense of community and collegiality among doctors. Technology and the platforms being developed and tailored to physicians may re-create that space, where communication and collaboration can grow,” she added.
Lawmakers are also assisting doctors in their fight against medical misinformation. California’s SB 277, which effectively removes the parents’ ability to claim “personal belief” exemptions to vaccination requirements at schools, was passed as a reaction to the measles outbreak at Disneyland. While part of the measles outbreak could be blamed on misinformation being spread on social media, doctors could have taken charge and refuted anti-vaccination groups more actively online.
“Times are changing. Change happens all the time, all around, inside and out. It is random, with no direction, both good and bad, like genetic mutations. This is our opportunity to engage and participate, to direct the change, and to make it progress,” said Dr. Hughes.
Background Recruitment of women in the periconceptional period to clinical studies using traditional advertising through medical establishments is difficult and slow. Given the widespread use of the internet as a source for medical information and research, we analyze the impact of social media in the second phase of an ongoing randomized, open-label clinical trial among pregnant women. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of social media as a recruitment tool through the comparison of diverse recruitment techniques in two different phases of the trial. Methods Recruitment in Phase 1 of the study consisted solely of traditional healthcare-based sources. This was compared to Phase 2 of the study where traditional recruitment was continued and expanded, while social media was used as a supplementary source. Yearly recruitment and recruitment rates in the two phases were compared using the Mann Whitney U test. The contributions of each recruitment source to overall recruitment were analyzed, and the impact of potential confounders on recruitment rate was evaluated using a multiple regression and Interrupted Time Series Analysis. Results In the first phase of the study, with over 56 months of recruitment using traditional sources, 35 women were enrolled in the study, resulting in a mean rate of ±0.62 recruits/month. In the 6 months implementing recruitment through social media, 45 women were recruited, for a 12-fold higher rate of ±7.5 recruits/month. Attrition rates remained constant, suggesting that social media had a positive impact on recruitment. The Interrupted Time Series Analysis detected a significant difference in recruitment after the intervention of social media (p<0.0001) with an evident increase in the number of recruits observed after the use of social media. Conclusions Clinicians and scientists recruiting for clinical studies should learn how to use online social media platforms to improve recruitment rates, thus increasing recruitment efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The importance of digital marketing is increasing every day. Around 3.6 billion people are connected to the Internet on their phones. In Europe, the density of mobile users and social media users is incredibly high―many prospective customers for dentists. Dental practices can target this group by using digital marketing to their advantage.
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