North American Journal of Medical Sciences

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 239-

Determining patient preferences in using social media


Ross Jones 
 College of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, United States

Correspondence Address:
Ross Jones
College of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, United States




How to cite this article:
Jones R. Determining patient preferences in using social media.North Am J Med Sci 2014;6:239-239


How to cite this URL:
Jones R. Determining patient preferences in using social media. North Am J Med Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Dec 3 ];6:239-239
Available from: https://www.najms.org/text.asp?2014/6/5/239/132946


Full Text

Dear Editor,

Social media (SoMe) is a group of Internet-based applications that allow individuals to connect and to share information. [1],[2] It is estimated by 2015 over 3 billion people worldwide will have social media accounts. [2] Social media is being increasingly used in healthcare. Healthcare providers are now using social media in a number of diverse ways from promoting awareness about cancer screening to providing evacuation routes and shelter locations during natural disasters. [2],[3] SoMe stands to be a method to strengthen patient-provider relationships, to engage patients, and to help increase patient's knowledge of medical issues. [4],[5] However, there is a dearth of studies examining how patients would like to be engaged using these technologies. [4],[5] The objective of this study is to determine patient preference for using social media and to identify perceived barriers to using social media.

This pilot study used a descriptive survey design. A 12-item survey will be administered to patients during check in at their primary care doctors' offices. Question on the survey include question about social media use, preference, and perceived barriers to using social media with their health care providers. Patients of all ages with both acute and chronic illnesses are seen at these clinics. Inclusion criteria will be adult English-speaking patients. Over the course of 4 weeks from mid May 2013 to mid July 2013, the questionnaire was offered to patients at appointment check-in. A consent paragraph was placed on the top portion of the survey. Surveys were completed in the waiting room or exam rooms while waiting to see the provider.

The total number of clinic visits for the month was one hundred ninety seven. The total number of survey responses was 72 for a response rate of 36.5% which is comparable to other studies. [1],[5] The majority of survey respondents were Caucasian, female, and between the ages of 26 and 40. The majority of survey respondents reported daily use of SoMe. While respondents were split on if they wanted to be able to access their providers on SoMe, 87% of respondents wanted to be able to access their providers through text or email. Respondents felt the most comfortable about using SoMe, text, and email with providers to schedule appointments or referrals, to address general health questions, or to request medication refills. The respondents chose privacy/confidentiality as the most important barrier to using SoMe with their provider.

The results of this study show respondents did not want to be able to contact their provider through social media but did want increased access to their provider through other electronic means such as text and emails. Several studies have shown that email communication between providers and patient improve patient satisfaction. [5] Given the growing number of patients using SoMe and the growing demand for health care services, study into new methods to increase access to health care using SoMe is warranted.

References

1Fisher J, Clayton M. Who gives a tweet: Assessing patients' interest in the use of social media for health care. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs 2012;9:100-8.
2Thackeray R, Neiger BL, Keller H. Integrating social media and social marketing: A four-step process. Health Promot Pract 2012;13:165-8.
3Armstrong AW, Watson AJ, Makredes M, Frangos JE, Kimball AB, Kvedar JC. Text-message reminders to improve sunscreen use: A randomized, controlled trial using electronic monitoring. Arch Dermatol 2009;145:1230-6.
4Baptist AP, Thompson M, Grossman KS, Mohammed L, Sy A, Sanders GM. Social media, text messaging, and email-preferences of asthma patients between 12 and 40 years old. J Asthma 2011;48:824-30.
5Antheunis ML, Tates K, Nieboer TE. Patients' and health professionals' use of social media in health care: Motives, barriers and expectations. Patient Educ Couns 2013;92:426-31.