Date of Award


Degree Name

Healthcare Administration


College of Business

Type of Degree


Document Type

Research Paper

First Advisor

Alberto Coustasse


Introduction: Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have been used in various industries to create direct-to-consumer interactive opportunities. 74% of the US population were social media active users. Around 40% of adults gather their health information from Facebook, a free social networking site, which has been available on various devices and can help many organizations advertise their services as well as communicate with their patients. Social networks had a powerful influence in making health decisions because it could be used as a means to spread either positive or negative health information.

Purpose of study: The purpose of this study was to examine the uses of social media, specifically Facebook, in healthcare and how it would impact the healthcare settings.

Methodology: A qualitative literature review complemented with a semi-structured interview. The research was approved by Marshall IRB. Five electronic databases were used which yielded a total of 568 sources. The sources were reviewed, and 32 sources were included in the written research. Of these, 11 sources were used in the results section.

Results: 72% of psoriasis patients in a questionnaire search for disease-related information on Facebook to help with coping and another study reported over 50% of patients benefited from Facebook from social support and exchanging advice. Another study reported 88% of hospitals have a Facebook page as 85% agreed Facebook is an effective educational tool for healthcare. Hospitals with higher performance ratings reported more Facebook use compared to lower performance hospitals. 73% of participants in a study stated increased their knowledge regarding their disease improving their health literacy.

Discussion/Conclusion: The research demonstrated that social media has been used in the healthcare industry in several ways. Providers could communicate, educate, and advertise their practices while patients are able to do self-research to better understand diagnoses, learn about treatments, share experiences, show and receive support from others, and this overall improves health literacy.


Health services administration.

Public health administration.

Facebook (Electronic resource) -- Social aspects.