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ThinkMind // eLmL 2012, The Fourth International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning // View article elml_2012_2_10_50036


Use of Social Media for Health Education: An Example of Online Support Group for Individuals with Atrial Fibrillation

Authors:
Joseph Finkelstein
Eunme Cha
Jeffrey Wood

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; online support group; qualitative analysis; knowledge gaps; social support

Abstract:
Social media is increasingly used by patients for health education, empowerment and support. There is a lack of systematic data on what kind of information is being sought by patients via social medial channels. By analyzing information exchange in an on-line support group we can better understand what information is not provided reliably to patients in a clinical setting. The aim of this study was to analyze a content of messages exchanged between participants in an online support group for people with atrial fibrillation. Using Grounded Theory, we conducted a content analysis of 626 messages, which were grouped into seven categories. We described each category and provided examples of users’ citations belonging to each category. In addition, proportion of initial posts and responses to them was analyzed depending on message category. Social media facilitated health education on major topics related to atrial fibrillation. Practical implications of qualitative analysis of messages posted on an online support group are discussed.

Pages: 31 to 34

Copyright: Copyright (c) IARIA, 2012

Publication date: January 30, 2012

Published in: conference

ISSN: 2308-4367

ISBN: 978-1-61208-180-9

Location: Valencia, Spain

Dates: from January 30, 2012 to February 4, 2012

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