UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The opportunities and challenges of social media in interstitial lung disease: a viewpoint Grewal, Japnam; Kawano-Dourado, Leticia; Ryerson, Christopher J.


Social media is an increasingly popular source of health information, and the rarity and complexity of interstitial lung disease (ILD) may particularly draw patients with ILD to social media for information and support. The objective of this viewpoint is to provide an overview of social media, explore the benefits and limitations of ILD-related social media use, and discuss future development of healthcare information on social media. We describe the value of integrating social media into the practice of ILD health professionals, including its role in information dissemination, patient engagement, knowledge generation, and formation of health policy. We also describe major challenges to expanded social media use in ILD, including limited access for some individuals and populations, abundance of misinformation, and concerns about patient privacy. Finally, for healthcare professionals looking to join social media, we provide practical guidance and considerations to optimize the potential benefits and minimize the potential pitfalls of social media.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)