Student researches social media usage in healthcare reform

Forest Institute doctoral student Gage Stermensky II recently conducted a study on consumer attitudes towards healthcare reform and the use of social media. More than 1,000 participants from around the US, of various ages, educational level, incomes, ethnicity, rural, and metropolitan areas participated in the study.

Stermensky says his goal was for people to be able to advocate for themselves in upcoming changes in and to identify how social media can be utilized by researchers, , mental health and healthcare agencies.

"Due to upcoming changes in healthcare policy directly affecting the United States, it is essential to understand barriers consumers have in understanding and advocating for healthcare issues important to them,” said Stermensky.

The study indicated that the majority of participants have utilized social media sources for healthcare information at least once in the past month. However, a majority of participants indicated they do not know how or where to go to advocate for healthcare issues important to them despite the numerous social media venues for doing so. Furthermore, participants indicated that their healthcare providers have not informed them of such social media outlets.

Consumers indicated they would like to have access to social media or mobile technology to obtain information on current diseases, insurance, Medicare or Medicaid information, healthcare policy updates, updates in current healthcare information, communicating with family about healthcare issues, and support groups. However, participants did not indicate preferences for using these services to communicate with employers about healthcare related topics, prescription drug services, billing, or personal records.

"Social media utilization is obviously an important part of communication in our society today. In order to move towards a patient-centered healthcare system, it appears we need to meet consumers where they are at in order to include them in important decision making, as well as making social media an integral part of consumer healthcare services,” said Stermensky.

The data in the following tables shows a breakdown of participants’ views on the different topics regarding social media and healthcare reform.


Provided by School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Can social media solve the US healthcare crisis?

May 10, 2012

The creation of a social media videoconferencing platform geared towards healthcare might pave the way for enhanced use of social media in the world of healthcare according to a study published this month in the International Jo ...

Study: Healthcare spending gains value

Apr 18, 2006

Each year, millions of dollars are spent on U.S. healthcare and now a Maryland study indicates the expenditure is worth it -- and has a positive return.

Americans don't expect healthcare reform

Mar 07, 2006

A Wall Street Journal-Harris Interactive healthcare poll suggests most Americans don't trust the Bush administration to reform the U.S. healthcare system.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments