The use of social media-communities by diabetes patients - a scoping review
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University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd Germany
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A622
Background and objective:
There are over 420 million people with diabetes worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of diabetes-related deaths will double by 2030. Living with diabetes requires the ability to seek and apply health information. The aim of the scoping review is to find out what evidence is available for social media usage by diabetes patients and whether it is being used to search for health information or to obtain emotional support.

A scoping review was conducted to report relevant literature published prior to 2022. Attention was paid to the emphasis of digital health literacy, emotional support and variations within the different studies.

There are a lot of new methodological approaches, which are published frequently as pioneering work. Emotional support often plays a more important role in the use of social media than seeking health information, but in-depth understanding and explanatory patterns are lacking.

Future studies should investigate what explanatory patterns can be used to understand social media use by diabetes patients. Those would allow improved targeted health promotion and prevention measures.