CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Yearb Med Inform 2022; 31(01): 082-087
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1742503
Special Section: Inclusive Digital Health
Working Group Contributions

Social Media, Digital Health Literacy, and Digital Ethics in the Light of Health Equity

IMIA Participatory Health and Social Media Working Group
Octavio Rivera-Romero
1   Instituto de Ingeniería Informática (I3US), Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
2   Electronic Technology Department, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
Elia Gabarron
3   Norwegian Centre for E-health Research, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway
4   Department of Education, ICT and Learning, Østfold University College, Halden, Norway
Talya Miron-Shatz
5   Ono Academic College, Israel
6   Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, Cambridge University, England
Carolyn Petersen
7   Mayo Clinic, United States
Kerstin Denecke
8   Institute for Medical Informatics, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Bern, Switzerland
› Author Affiliations


Objective: Social media is used in the context of healthcare, for example in interventions for promoting health. Since social media are easily accessible they have potential to promote health equity. This paper studies relevant factors impacting on health equity considered in social media interventions.

Methods: We searched for literature to identify potential relevant factors impacting on health equity considered in social media interventions. We included studies that reported examples of health interventions using social media, focused on health equity, and analyzed health equity factors of social media. We identified Information about health equity factors and targeted groups.

Results: We found 17 relevant articles. Factors impacting on health equity reported in the included papers were extracted and grouped into three categories: digital health literacy, digital ethics, and acceptability.

Conclusions: Literature shows that it is likely that digital technologies will increase health inequities associated with increased age, lower level of educational attainment, and lower socio-economic status. To address this challenge development of social media interventions should consider participatory design principles, visualization, and theories of social sciences.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Article published online:
02 June 2022

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