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Five ways social media may change mental health care

Much has been written about how social media have changed medicine and health care. But how will things like online patient advocacy sites, blogs and Facebook affect mental health care? Psychologist Susan Giurleo, PhD, explores this issue on KevinMD today, and she writes:

This surge of “e-patients” (defined as those patients who are ‘plugged in’ and research, advocate and communicate online) will result in an empowered group of patients and clients. They will have access to research findings once only found in professional journals and will have knowledge of treatment trials worldwide (not to mention the option to participate in many of them from a distance). This will result in current and potential clients asking providers educated questions about their expertise, treatment philosophy and expected outcomes.

Many health care professionals feel ambivalent about this movement. We are used to being the “experts”and our patients being passive consumers of our expertise. The e-movement levels that playing field and health care partnerships will be the result. This will keep those of us who do effective work in business and those who offer subpar services unable to stay solvent.

Previously: Social media brings up questions, ethical unknowns for doctors, Should you follow your psychiatrist on Twitter? and Physician 2.0: Do doctors risk becoming irrelevant if they ignore social media?

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