Using Facebook chats to convey health information is becoming more common. A study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City set out to find the best way to boost participation in the chats to raise awareness of lupus, an autoimmune disease.
Specifically, investigators at HSS wanted to see if collaboration with a community-based lupus organization would increase patient awareness and participation. They found that the number of people participating in the chat tripled when the hospital joined forces with the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation to publicize the chat.
The study, titled, “Utilizing Facebook Chats to Convey Health Information to Lupus Patients at the Lupus-Antiphospholipid Syndrome Center of Excellence at Hospital for Special Surgery,” will be presented at the American College ofRheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Meeting on October 28 in San Diego.
The Lupus Center of Excellence at Special Surgery uses Facebook chats to raise awareness, reach a wider audience, allow for interaction between patients and health care providers, and answer patients’ questions about lupus. The chats help to educate patients about their disease and the importance of maintaining relationships with their rheumatologists.
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