Social media and health policy

Document Type : Letter to editor


1 1. Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran

2 School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Public Health, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy


Policy- and decision-making is of extreme importance in the health-care sector, and, in this regard, policy- and decision-makers try to take into account all aspects of health policy and use all the levers necessary for its effective implementation. In the health policy process, individuals, groups and organizations can have an impact, in that they are trying to influence health policies by fulfilling their demands. Social media can play an important role too in improving and increasing awareness among health policy- and decision-makers and people, and, therefore, they can have an influence as one of the most important actors in the health policy process. Health policy- and decision-makers should try to be able to interact with social media before implementing a policy. Of course, the purpose of this interaction is not to align the social media to the unconditional implementation of a policy. The goal is to better explain the challenges and problems created by implementing a policy to better inform public opinion and increase its awareness. Unfortunately, some healthcare providers do not have a proper relationship with social media. Failure to support social media from health-care policy- and decision-makers can have adverse health outcomes.