Statistics from Altmetric.com
The public is increasingly using non-traditional sources for news and information, including medical and public health-related information. Although only 23% currently read printed newspapers (down from twice that in 20001), three-quarters report using online sources for health information,2 ,3 and half of American smartphone users have obtained health-related information via their phone.3 Common sources of information include websites, social networking sites (including Facebook and Twitter) and YouTube. This ‘public scholarship’ has a huge potential impact on public health, particularly day-to-day preventive actions.4
Unfortunately, the reliability of existing online information sources is not assured and few public health practitioners currently maximise the potential of these non-traditional sources.5 ,6 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, has developed some very effective social media campaigns7 ,8 and a handful of injury prevention centres (eg, Johns Hopkins, Emory, West Virginia, USA) are actively engaged in social media. However, although most US state health departments have Twitter or Facebook accounts, very few maximise the potential …
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.