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Moms look to Facebook friends for health advice

Posted May 11 2011 4:42pm

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

By Kester Freeman
Former CEO, Palmetto Health

Who do you trust more than a good friend or family member? Well, when it comes to health information, a new study finds that many mothers are turning to their Facebook friends when it comes to sharing healthcare advice.

A recent report finds that technology that connects friends is a top choice for moms seeking health-related information. As part of her caregiver role, mothers are using the expanding online community to talk, share and learn. In fact, email and Facebook are noted as top choices among moms that share health information .

According to Healthcare IT News:

The report found 84 percent often share health related information via email and 69 percent often share via Facebook. Email and Facebook are also the places where they most often hear recent news – email (83 percent) and Facebook (76 percent). Only 65 percent choose television.

Patients are learning about potential treatment and physicians in an entirely new way. They’ve always asked friends and family for recommendations, but now these social networking sites are taking the concept to a new level. Information flows freely and more often.

While a recent survey indicates that many people do not want to use social media to communicate with their doctors, experts say doctors should use social media in order to make sure patients are getting accurate information when searching the Web for information.  Physicians need to be part of the conversation, otherwise they will have no voice.

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