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Ruckenstuhl, P; Schippinger, M; Liebmann, P; Leithner, A; Bernhardt, G.
Like or Dislike? Impact of Facebook on Ewing Sarcoma Treatment.
JMIR Cancer. 2016; 2(2):e11-e11 [OPEN ACCESS]
PubMed PUBMED Central FullText FullText_MUG

 

Autor/innen der Med Uni Graz:
Bernhardt Gerwin
Leithner Andreas
Ruckenstuhl Paul
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Number of Figures: 4
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Abstract:
An increasing number of patients are raising their voices in online forums to exchange health-related information. Facebook is the leading social media platform with more than 1 billion international daily users recorded in the summer of 2015. Facebook has a dynamic audience and is utilized in a number of ways, discussing medical issues being one of them. Ewing sarcoma mainly affects teenagers and young adults. Additionally, many individuals within this age group are regular users of Facebook. However, little is known about the impact of this modern way of communication via Web-based platforms on patients with Ewing sarcoma and their social environment. The aim of this study was to analyze and compare Ewing sarcoma patients' and relatives' behavior on Facebook to draw conclusions regarding the impact of Facebook on Ewing sarcoma treatment. We examined a Facebook group named "Ewing Sarcoma Awareness" that is used to exchange information for both patients and relatives regarding Ewing sarcoma. A self-designed questionnaire was used to compare patients' and relatives' answers. Additionally, we analyzed all processes (posts, likes, threads, links) in the group for 6 consecutive months. A total of 65 members of the Facebook group (26 patients, 39 relatives) out of 2227 international group members participated in our study. More than 70% (46/65) of all participants reported that they use the group Ewing Sarcoma Awareness as a source of information about Ewing sarcoma. Of the participants, 89% (58/65) agreed on our scale from a little to a lot that being in contact with other affected people through the group makes it easier to handle the diagnosis. In this study, 20% (13/65) of all participants reported that the group affected their choice of treatment and 15% (10/65) of participants were influenced in the selection of their specialist. Regarding the recommendation of the Facebook group toward other people, significant differences (P=.003) were found comparing patients' and relatives' results. During the last 6 months most activities in the group concerned sharing destiny and handling the diagnosis. The Facebook group Ewing Sarcoma Awareness has a relevant impact on group members regarding their choice of treatment. Moreover, participants turn toward the group to receive mental and emotional support in everyday life. Statements made within the group are in part questionable from a medical point of view and the impact made by these statements on patients' care requires further evaluation. ©Paul Ruckenstuhl, Michael Schippinger, Paul Liebmann, Andreas Leithner, Gerwin Bernhardt. Originally published in JMIR Cancer (http://cancer.jmir.org), 25.08.2016.

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