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Social media-A driving path to improve health literacy in people

Paul Studenic and the team has conducted a study to determine the perspective of people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) on using social media health-related purposes in managing their condition.

The study included 992 participants from 56 countries. The participants mostly fall between the age of 35 to 54 years. All the participants were advised to fill a questionnaire online. The questionnaire was co-designed in English by rheumatologists and patient research partners, which was translated into various languages, including German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, French, and Portuguese.

About 86% of participants answered 25 out of 31 questions and were included in the analyses. The participants started to connect with other people with the same medical condition. This platform was much utilized for seeking medical information, knowing the treatment options, and exchanging experiences. Overall, 60% of participants have reported a good or very good experience with the use of social media. Among various social media platforms, Facebook, Google, and YouTube were the top platforms for health-related purposes, then followed by Instagram.

Based on the results, the study concluded that the use of social media for health-related purposes is widespread among RMDs patients. It mainly serves as a means to connect with people who have a similar conditionand empowers individuals in self-management of their health condition.


Studenic P, Stones S, Alunno A, Ritschl V, Nikiphorou E. AB1233 People with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases connect and learn about health-related issues using social media. Annals of the Rheumatic diseases. 2019; 78 (2).

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