Title: Hälsa i sociala medier - En kvalitativ studie om hur hälsoinformatörer upplever och påverkas av hälsobudskap i sociala medier.
Title: Health in social media - A qualitative study of how health communicators perceive and are affected by health messages in social media.
Author: Anna Hedström
Institute: Karlstad University. Faculty of health, nature and engineering sciences.
Tutor: Owe Stråhlman
Number of pages: 34
Keywords: eHealth literacy, health communication, health informers, health literacy, health messages, media literacy, social media
Background: With an increased interest in diet and exercise, also health and fitness messages have increased in both traditional and social media. The general guidelines on physical activity and diet are forgotten as training tips increase in the media. Research shows that it is common for individuals to retrieve information from the media when it comes to their own health. In doing so media literacy, health literacy and eHealth literacy becomes increasingly important for health communicators and for those who receive health information.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine health communicators’ experiences of health messages in social media, and how they are affected by them.
Method: Qualitative interviews were chosen as a method to collect data. Six individuals participated in the study, four of them were females and two were men. The criterion for participation was to somehow work to inform about health. To analyze the data collected, qualitative contained analysis were used.
Results: The analysis revealed four categories; the health informer experiences of social media content, social media's impact on customers, social media's impact on the health informer work and the health informers use of social media in their work.
The results show that health informers experience a certain lack of knowledge among health messages in social media and that many of them are too extreme. These health informers experience that their customers are more well-informed now than a few years ago, due to the use of Facebook, Instagram and blogs. Using social media to search information about diet and exercise is good because it is easily accessible and it is fast, but if one does not have the knowledge of what should be weeded out, these advantages can easily become disadvantages. Respondents feel that it has become a larger equality on diet and exercise that they believe may be due to health messages disseminated on social media. Health communicators can work with to get their customers to be more critical of what they read.
Conclusion: The conclusion of the result is that the health communicators indirectly affected by health messages on social media by their clients that often come with questions about things they read or want help to look like some bloggers they follow. Health communicators work is affected in the way that they need to take advantage of social media to help its customers as well as possible and they must also talk to their customers about the source criticism and that they should focus on what feels good for the customer .
2015. , 34 p.
eHealth literacy, health communication, health informers, health literacy, health messages, media literacy, social media