Health Information and Social Media: Patients’ Perception of Selected Primary Health Care Centers, Yaba, Nigeria

Abstract :

The role of the Internet has significantly changed the channel of health information. As a result, it becomes essential to understand the behavioural pattern of people seeking health-related information on the websites and highlight improvements. This study executed a cross-sectional examination using 221 patients of selected primary health care centres at Yaba, Lagos state. The data covered between December 2019 and January 2020 using an adapted structured questionnaire. The 25 research items were validated to answer the questions raised. The questionnaire items captured the adoption of social media for health awareness, perception of health information on social media, benefits of the use of social media for seeking health-related information, knowledge of health information on social media and usage of social media for health information. The study findings showed that the advent of social media platforms had transformed people's health information-seeking behaviour. Majority of the respondents (patients) claimed that they adopt digital media because it saves time, convenient to access, fosters immediate, up-to-date information and less cost of accessing compared to other sources. The findings of this study revealed that online health seeker had modified the way they take care of their health after having internet searches and their health-related decision making (Omokiti et al., 2020). Our findings suggest that most participants used social media platforms to find information about their health conditions, while around one-third received direct online medical consultations. There is a need for public awareness on the use of reputable sources for health information. The study findings will also become a significant contribution to health policymakers and health-related website content regulators.