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Title: Types of drug information on authoritative vs. social media sites.
Authors: Chew, Shu Wen.
Keywords: DRNTU::Library and information science::General
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Searching health information online has become a common activity due to the prevalence of internet usage and the convenience of finding information online. Online health information can be obtained from different types of websites: authoritative sites or social media sites. Most of the studies that investigated the types of information found on social media sites are commonly done with the focus on the disease rather than the drug taken to manage the disease. The objective of this study is to identify the types of information provided on authoritative drug information websites versus social media sites; and to compare their difference in terms of content and functionality. Grounded Theory methodology is adopted in this study to analyze the drug information from selected websites. The drug information that is analyzed in this study are for nine different drugs; three drugs for each of the three selected chronic diseases: diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma. These chronic diseases were chosen based on their high global prevalence. The findings of this study indicate some differences in the types of drug information on authoritative sites and social media sites. Drug information on social media sites are more subjective and contain more human touch (i.e. words of encouragement and sentiments), whereas, drug information on authoritative sites’ are factual and objective. Information on drug dosage and side effects is common to both types of websites but some differences are identified. Drug dosage information on authoritative websites is the recommended dosage from the drug manufacturers, while the drug dosage information on social media sites is based on the reviewers’ doctors’ prescription. Information on side effects found in social media sites may contain reports on new side effects not mentioned on authoritative websites and the frequency in reporting known side effects on social media sites is inconsistent. Information on the cost of drugs, drug efficacy, ease of drug use, change in drug prescription, sentiments, personal advice and encouragement is uniquely found on social media sites. These types of information are largely based on reviewers’ practical experiences which could be helpful to other users who are in similar situations and also complement the information from authoritative sites. In addition, the amount and quality of information found on social media sites could be affected by the size of their user base and how the reviews are presented.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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