The Centre for Global eHealth Innovation in Toronto, Canada, recently published a new study on breast cancer groups on Facebook. They found 620 breast cancer groups on Facebook containing a total of 1,090,397 members.
The groups were created for fundraising (44.7%), awareness (38.1%), product or service promotion related to fundraising or awareness (9%), or patient/caregiver support (7%). (The complete study is available online at the Journal of Medical Internet Research.)
The most striking result to me was that most of the groups existed as fundraising tools (more than 44%), and only 7% were dedicated to patient or caregiver support–the smallest percentage in the study’s sample.
For me, these results are a clear invitation for hospitals to get involved in social media support for breast cancer patients and caregivers. Start listening to what their needs are both off-line and on-line, and explore what resources you have at your hospital.
What resources could you make available online to help meet their needs?