Can participating in Facebook groups improve patient satisfaction? 4 findings

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The use of social media, specifically Facebook groups, in clinical practice can help healthcare providers incorporate an effective patient support community, according to a pilot study published in Surgery.

To explore how social media use affects patient engagement and satisfaction, the researchers created a Facebook support group for liver transplant patients to use as a virtual community forum in September 2016.

The researchers then reviewed the group's activity and conducted a survey to evaluate how patients viewed their participation in the group.

Here are four findings from the study.

1. Over the nine-month study, 350 users joined the group. Fifty percent were liver transplant patients, 36 percent were caregivers and friends, and 14 percent were healthcare providers. 

2. During the study, participants created 339 posts, 2,338 comments and 6,274 reactions in the group. Group members commented on or reacted to 98 percent of posts.

3. After the study, 95 percent of survey respondents said joining the group positively affected their care.

4. Ninety-seven percent of respondents said they were motivated to join the Facebook group to provide or receive support from other patients.

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