In its simplest terms, social media is any interactive communication platform that enables people to interact and converse. In the last decade, social media has emerged as a channel for seeking and exchanging information in ways previously unimaginable.

However, with a generation of young people who are more likely to seek initial medical advice from the internet, it remains the responsibility of the current generation of patients, carers and healthcare professionals to embrace social media and ensure that accessible, evidence-informed information is readily available.

In 2017, I delivered a workshop at the 6th Childrenโ€™s Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland Conference in Dublin, Ireland, on the topic of social media in healthcare. Following on from the workshop, I felt this topic needed more discussion, exemplifying how social media is used by various stakeholder groups within healthcare. Then came the idea for an article, where I joined forces with Postgraduate Researcher, George Peat; Consultant Rheumatologist and Researcher, Dr Elena Nikiphorou; and Charity Founder, Wendy Costello.

After several reviews by different members of the Children’s Research Network, our article, ‘Like, Retweet, Repeat: The use of social media in healthcare, illustrated by three stakeholder perspectives’, was published on Monday 4th March 2019. Please do take a look!

Written by simonrstones

Simon R. Stones BSc (Hons) is an award-winning patient advocate, consultant and researcher from Manchester in the UK, who was the winner of the international WEGO Health Award for Patient Healthcare Collaborator in 2017. He is a passionate advocate and ambassador for people living with invisible illnesses, inspired and empowered by his own journey with juvenile arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease since childhood. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a trustee of Fibromyalgia Action UK and RAiISE, and board member of the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA) and the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA).

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