Patient Perspectives on Using Social Media during Consultations

Prof. Munmun De Choudhury and Prof. Gregory Abowd
Dong Whi Yoo, Sindhu Ernala, and Aditi Bhatnagar

Previous studies have revealed that mental health patients share their social media with their clinicians during consultations. They explain what they posted or what they saw on social media or show the content using their smartphones. Clinicians have commented that patient-initiated social media sharing experiences have positively affected the therapeutic relationship, however, they have also expressed concerns mainly related to patients' privacy.

While clinical researchers have explored healthcare providers' opinions on viewing patients' social media content during consultations, why and how patients initiate the sharing process has been underexplored. These are both related to CSCW questions (eg, how online social media can be used in in-person conversations and how technologies can better support those in-person conversations) and mental health questions (eg, how those manual sharing experiences affect therapeutic relationships).

Our goal is to understand mental health patients' perspectives on manual sharing of social media during consultations, especially focusing on a) why and how they share their social media activities during consultations, b) how the sharing experiences affected their therapeutic relationships, and c) how technologies can better serve their needs for sharing social media with clinicians. 

Munmun De Choudhury
Munmun De Choudhury

The SocWeB Lab's mission is to develop novel computational techniques, and technologies powered by these techniques, to responsibly and ethically employ social media in quantifying, understanding, and improving our mental health and well-being.