Social Media and Health

Authored by: Yan Tian , James D. Robinson

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367488956
eBook ISBN: 9781003043379
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, we discuss how social media can increase access to health information and services, provide avenues to give and receive social support, facilitate crisis communication, and disseminate campaign messages. Furthermore, we discuss the relationship between social media use and mental health and how social media can help innovate research methodology in health communication. We suggest that future research should focus on addressing social media divides to decrease health disparities, correcting health misinformation and miscommunication in social media, promoting two-way communication and education on privacy and security issues, and improving social media literacy. We also suggest that scholars interested in social media keep the traditional mass media and face-to-face dissemination of health information in mind as they conduct their research.

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