This study aimed to measure the use of social media applications for health information among residents in Saudi Arabia. A cross sectional study was adopted in this study between 20th of September to 1st of December 2017. A pre-validated questionnaire was either distributed through face to face to respondents in public areas or through online survey which was posted to main social media groups in Saudi Arabia. All data was analyzed through using SPSS version 22.0. All p-values of less than 0.05 were considered significant. A total of 751 valid responses were obtained out of 1200 invitations. WhatsApp was the main application frequently used among our respondents 83.8%. In addition, about 18% of respondents use social media to search on medicines related information on weekly basis. On the other hand, 12.6% of respondents receive medical related information on social media daily. Friends are the main source of medical related information on social media which is represented by 28.5% of responses. Whereas health specialists represent only 20.1% of health information on social media. One-third of our respondents either search or receive medical related information on social media on daily and weekly basis. More than 90% of respondents prefer to receive medical related information from trusted official sources. Health authorities have to frequently review the health information contents available in social media as well as educate patients on the importance of validating the medical information available on social media from their healthcare providers.
Alhaddad, M. S. (2018). The use of social media among Saudi residents for medicines related information. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 26(8), 1106–1111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsps.2018.05.021