About this research

This project has been completed, but you can still read more about it below.


Today’s emerging patient centered health movement is focused not on a specific condition or demographic, but rather on shifting the balance of power and enabling access to information to drive decision-making in healthcare. This takes place through electronic health records as well as more generalized sources. The uptake of social media is contributing to an innovation in patient centered healthcare: information and support on a global scale is coming not only from the formal healthcare system, but also within online social networks. Today, through computer-mediated interactions, patients are not only seeking information, they are curating and sharing information. Subsequently, patients are also creating information, establishing a novel ecosystem of engagement that has the potential to disrupt the current healthcare system.

My research focused on a novel online health community, Breast Cancer Social Media (BCSM), and is focused around the following aims:

  1. Explore a novel online health community, BCSM, established using a largely public and searchable social media platform.
  2. Identify essential characteristics within the community that may inform future development and support for patient centered healthcare.

This research has received IRB approval through the Brandeis University Committee for Protection of Human Subjects.

Interested in knowing more? The abstract is available here.

Interested in knowing a lot more? The whole document is available here.

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