Saturday, April 30, 2016


Torous, J., & Keshavan, M. (2016) reviewed research studies showing evidence for using social networks and social media to help schizophrenia patients. Their findings showed that patients with schizophrenia are increasingly connected to and engaged with social media. There is strong evidence that schizophrenia patients currently own, use, and accept digital tools like smartphones and already use social media services like Facebook at high rates, especially among those who are younger. Social media tools have the potential to offer new services to patients with schizophrenia. Torous, J., & Keshavan, M. (2016) predict that it is likely that social media will have an expanding role in health care, offering new pathways to address negative symptoms and impairments in social cognition in schizophrenia. However, although there are increasingly more social networking platforms being designed specifically for those with mental illness, less is known about the actual clinical risks and benefits of social media use in schizophrenia. It is important to ensure that both clinicians and patients are aware of and educated about the risks and potential of using social media. The true potential of social media in mental health can only be fully actualized if the health care profession can take a more proactive role in research and field testing. Yet the extent to which the profession takes up this task remains currently uncertain.

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