Benefits, Challenges, and Social Impact of Health Care Providers’ Adoption of Social Media

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11 Citations (Scopus)


With the advent of telecommunication technologies and social media, many health care professionals are using social media to communicate with their patients and to promote health. However, the literature reveals a lacuna in our understanding of health care professionals’ perception of their behavioral intentions to use innovations. Using the Unified Technology Acceptance Framework (unified theory of acceptance and use of technology), in-depth interviews were conducted with 16 Australian health care experts to uncover their intent and actual use of social media in their medical practices. Results revealed that social media tools offered five significant benefits such as (i) enhanced communication between health care professionals and their patients, (ii) community support, (iii) enabled e-learning, (iv) enhanced professional network, and (v) expedited health promotion. However, result also revealed barriers to social media usage including (i) inefficiency, (ii) privacy concerns, (iii) poor quality of information, (iv) lack of trust, and (v) blurred professional boundary. Peer influence and supporting conditions were also found to be determinants of social media adoption behaviors among health care professionals. This study has important implications for health care providers, patients, and policy makers on the responsible use of social media, health promotion, and health communication. This research is also among the very few studies that explore Australian health care professionals’ intent and actual use of innovations within a health care setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1631-1647
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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