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Social networking for medical information: a digital divide or a trust inquiry?

Sato, Azusa and Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 (2013) Social networking for medical information: a digital divide or a trust inquiry? Health Policy and Technology, 2 (3). pp. 139-150. ISSN 2211-8837

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.hlpt.2013.05.002


Objective: To profile social networkers and those who use social networks for medical purposes and investigate the role of three behavioural triggers related to control, trust and privacy. Data sources: We use data from Europe (Eurobarometer 74.3, 2010) containing information about reported behaviour and perceptions on social issues such as media, privacy and social networking. Study design: Probit models showing associations between individual socio-economic variables and reported social networking, and social networking for health. Extra variables proxying for control, trust in health care providers and privacy of personal information are then added. Following this, two part models accounting for zero observations are utilised. Findings: The age profile of social networkers using it for medical care differs from that of social networkers per se. Privacy perceptions appear to be a deterrent of social networking whilst trust in the health care providers is not a significant driver of social network use. Conclusions: There is some evidence of a digital divide owing to age, while income is not significantly associated with social networking for health. Social networking does not perfectly substitute for conventional health care.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine
Divisions: European Institute
Social Policy
Centre for Economic Performance
LSE Health
Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2013 10:10
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 17:24

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