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Currently submitted to: Interactive Journal of Medical Research

Date Submitted: Sep 26, 2018
Open Peer Review Period: Sep 30, 2018 - Nov 25, 2018
(closed for review but you can still tweet)

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The use of social media in US healthcare and its facilitators and barriers: Systematic literature review

  • Shaneil Tanna; 
  • Susana Luengo Cubillo; 
  • Rosie Bhogal; 
  • Sonika Sethi; 
  • Nishma Gokani; 
  • Sharukh Zuberi; 
  • Jagvir Grewal



With the advent of internet-based communications, face-to-face interactions are becoming increasingly uncommon and inconvenient, including those between the doctor and the patient. Social media (SM) has been recognized as a tool that could potentially help nourish and expand relationships in healthcare; however, much remains to be explored.


A systematic literature Review (SLR) was conducted to explore the use of SM in the United States (US) healthcare setting, and the characteristics of its use, including barriers and facilitators.


A SLR was conducted using three peer-reviewed databases; PubMed, MEDLINE and EMBASE. EBSCOhost database was included to gain a deeper understanding of companies’ use of SM and any lessons that can be learnt and applied to the healthcare setting.


Over the last decade there has been a rapid shift in the US towards the uptake of SM technologies, with many hospitals now using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook for communication, health promotion, education and research. SM can also present a competitive and financial advantage to increase a hospital’s reputation and reduce costs. However, despite its many proven or apparent uses, SM also brings with it many challenges, such as ethical considerations, need for clear guidelines and evaluation, perceptions and attitudes of patients and staff, and the possibility of mismatched offer versus patients’ needs.


The future of SM lies first of all in developing sound practices, and in its integration into the hospitals’ overall communication strategies, as well as expanding the number of uses and stakeholders involved.


Please cite as:

Tanna S, Luengo Cubillo S, Bhogal R, Sethi S, Gokani N, Zuberi S, Grewal J

The use of social media in US healthcare and its facilitators and barriers: Systematic literature review

JMIR Preprints. 26/09/2018:12325

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.12325


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