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Providing Health Consumers with Emergency Information: A Systematic Review of Research Examining Social Media Use During Public Crises

Citation: 
Tracey L. Thomas, Courtney Schrock & Daniela B. Friedman (2016) Providing Health Consumers with Emergency Information: A Systematic Review of Research Examining Social Media Use During Public Crises, Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 20:1-2, 19-40, DOI: 10.1080/15398285.2016.1142927
Abstract / Summary: 
This systematic review explored risk and crisis communication literature to examine how researchers have evaluated social media use in public crises. Twenty-four full-text articles were reviewed, the majority of which focused on natural disasters (n = 11). Studies were commonly descriptive in design (n = 21), used content analysis (n = 12), and examined the content and structure of messages (n = 18). Studies focused on blogs and microblogs (n = 20); social networks (n = 9); content communities (n = 4); and collaborative projects (n = 3), and the most commonly studied platforms were Twitter (n = 17) and Facebook (n = 9). Findings provide insight regarding the opportunities and challenges related to social media use during public crises.  
Knowledge cycle: 
Users of healthcare information: 
Full text access?: 
Selected extracts: 

most of the articles included in this review concluded that social media plays an important role in risk and crisis communication. Several articles, however, also stressed that traditional media continues to be an important—if not the most important—source of crisis information.

A lack of skills and resources at the governmental and organizational level has been a primary limitation to effectively using social media as a crisis communication strategy.

Formal literature type: 
Publisher: 
Author(s): 

Tracey L. Thomas, Courtney Schrock, Daniela B. Friedman 

Year published: 
2016
Month published: 
September