Social media use when living with and beyond breast cancer : exploring strategies for self-managed healthcare

Ure, CM ORCID:, Cooper-Ryan, AM ORCID:, Condie, JM ORCID: and Galpin, AJ ORCID: 2020, 'Social media use when living with and beyond breast cancer : exploring strategies for self-managed healthcare' , Journal of Medical Internet Research . (In Press)

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Background: As breast cancer survival rates improve and structural health resources are increasingly stretched, health providers require people living with and beyond breast cancer (LwBBC) to self-manage aspects of their care. This study explores how women use social media to self-manage their psychosocial needs across the cancer continuum. Objective: To understand how women use and experience social media to support self-management across the cancer continuum. Method: The experiences of twenty-one women (age range 27-64) were explored using an in-depth qualitative approach. The women varied in the duration of their experiences of LwBBC, which facilitated insights into how they evolve and change their self-management strategies over time. Semi-structured interviews were analysed inductively using thematic and polytextual analysis. Findings: The use of multiple social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter enable women to self-manage aspects of their care by satisfying needs for timely, relevant and appropriate support, navigating identities disrupted by diagnosis and treatment, and by allowing them to (re) gain a sense of control. Women described extending their everyday use of multiple platforms to self-manage their care. However, women experience social media as both empowering and dislocating as their engagement is impacted by their everyday experiences of LwBBC. Conclusions: Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) need to be more aware, and open to the possibilities for how women use multiple social media resources as self-management tools. It is important for HCPs to initiate value-free discussions and create the space necessary for women to share how social media resources support a tailored and timely self-managed approach to their unique psychosocial needs.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Publisher: JMIR Publications
ISSN: 1439-4456
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 11:05
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2020 09:48

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