How can social media lead to co-production (co-delivery) of new services for elderly population? A qualitative study

Sayed Hadi Daneshvar farzanegan, Stuart Anderson, Robin Williams, Hajar Mozaffar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: The future of health care services in the EU faces the triple challenges of ageing, fiscal restriction and inclusion. Co‐production offers ways to manage informal care resources to help them cater for the growing needs of elderly people. Social media(SM) is seen as critical enabler for co‐production.

Objective: We investigate how SM ‐ private Facebook groups, forums, Twitter, and blogging ‐ acts as an enabler of co‐production in health and care by facilitating its underlying four principles: equality, diversity, accessibility, and reciprocity.

Methods: We used Normalization Process Theory (NPT) as our theoretical framework to design this study. We conducted a qualitative study and collected data through 20 semi‐structured interviews and observation of the activities of ten online groups and individuals. We then used thematic analysis, and drew on principles of co‐production(equality, diversity, accessibility, and reciprocity) as a deductive coding framework, to analyse our findings.

Results: Our findings point to distinct patterns of feature use by different people involved in care of elderly people. This diversity makes possible the principles of coproduction by offering equality amongst users, enabling diversity of use, making experiences accessible and encouraging reciprocity in the sharing of knowledge and mutual support. We also identify that explication of common resources may lead to new forms of competition and conflicts. These conflicts require better management to enhance the coordination of the common pool of resources.

Conclusions: SM uses afford new forms of organising and collective engagement between patients, carers and professionals, which lead to change in health and care communication and coordination.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29434014
Number of pages14
JournalJMIR Human Factors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • social media
  • co-production
  • eHealth
  • co-service
  • social networking
  • Web 2.0
  • health informatics
  • mHealth


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