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      Sociotechnical Challenges and Progress in Using Social Media for Health

      , BS, PhD 1 , , , BS, MS, PhD 2 , , MD, MPH 3 , , PhD 4
      (Reviewer), (Reviewer)
      Journal of Medical Internet Research
      JMIR Publications Inc.
      social media, social computing, privacy, health, sociotechnical systems

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          Social media tools that connect patients, caregivers, and health providers offer great potential for helping people access health advice, receive and give social support, manage or cope with chronic conditions, and make day-to-day health decisions. These systems have seen widespread adoption, but often fail to support the goals as fully as designers and users would like. Through Ackerman’s lens of the “sociotechnical gap” and computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) as a science of the artificial, we review contemporary sociotechnical challenges and progress for using social media to support health. These challenges include a tension between privacy and sharing, policy information credibility, accessibility, and tailoring in social spaces. Those studying, building, deploying, and using social media systems to further health goals will benefit from approaching this work by borrowing from Ackerman’s framing of CSCW. In particular, this requires acknowledgment that technical systems will not fully meet our social goals, and then adopting design and educational approaches that are appropriate to fill this gap, building less-nuanced systems as partial solutions and tools for advancing our understanding, and by working with the CSCW research community to develop and pursue key lines of inquiry.

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          Most cited references108

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              Understanding tailoring in communicating about health.

              'Tailoring' refers to any of a number of methods for creating communications individualized for their receivers, with the expectation that this individualization will lead to larger intended effects of these communications. Results so far have been generally positive but not consistently so, and this paper seeks to explicate tailoring to help focus future research. Tailoring involves either or both of two classes of goals (enhancing cognitive preconditions for message processing and enhancing message impact through modifying behavioral determinants of goal outcomes) and employs strategies of personalization, feedback and content matching. These goals and strategies intersect in a 2 x 3 matrix in which some strategies and their component tactics match better to some goals than to others. The paper illustrates how this framework can be systematically applied in generating research questions and identifying appropriate study designs for tailoring research.

                Author and article information

                J Med Internet Res
                Journal of Medical Internet Research
                JMIR Publications Inc. (Toronto, Canada )
                October 2013
                22 October 2013
                : 15
                : 10
                : e226
                [1] 1Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering dub group University of Washington Seattle, WAUnited States
                [2] 2Sauder School of Business University of British Columbia Vancouver, BCCanada
                [3] 3Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute School of Population and Public Health University of British Columbia Vancouver, BCCanada
                [4] 4Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of British Columbia Vancouver, BCCanada
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Sean A Munson smunson@ 123456uw.edu
                ©Sean A Munson, Hasan Cavusoglu, Larry Frisch, Sidney Fels. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 22.10.2013.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 26 June 2013
                : 07 August 2013
                : 27 August 2013
                : 18 September 2013

                social media,social computing,privacy,health,sociotechnical systems
                social media, social computing, privacy, health, sociotechnical systems


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