Over the last year or two, lots of people have been jumping on the social media bandwagon, i.e., Twitter, Facebook, and so on. There has been a lot of talk about how social media and social networking will revolutionize healthcare, but little evidence to back this talk up. Until now, that is.
Before I get to the evidence that I referred to, I need to clarify something. The goal of social media as I understand it is to get people talking, sharing information and creating new ideas. As applied to healthcare, one of the goals of social media is to get people/patients with like medical conditions taking, sharing and supporting one another. Healthcare researchers refer to this phenomenon as peer support. Peer support is not new to healthcare. Disease-specific support groups (breast cancer, diabetes, etc.) have been around for years. “Group” physician office visits comprised of patients with the same diagnosis have been around for years as well.
Now to the evidence. As anyone with a chronic condition or who treats patient with chronic conditions knows, patient self-care is critical. Knowledge, skills and confidence are prerequisites for effective self-care management. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*