Consumer empowerment in health care amid the internet and social media

Semin Oncol Nurs. 2011 Aug;27(3):169-82. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2011.04.002.


Objectives: Consumer empowerment in health and rapid change in health information and communication technologies have their roots in broader social trends. This article reviews the activities at the intersection of consumer empowerment and technology.

Data sources: Technical reports, white papers, books, journal articles, and Web sites.

Conclusion: Social trends are visible in the integration of information and communication technologies into health care, in both searching for and sharing information on the Internet, in the use of social media to create new types of interactions with family, providers, and peers, and in the e-patient, who integrates these new roles and new technologies.

Implications for nursing practice: Changes in both patients and technology will impact oncology nursing practice as new, patient-centered, interactions emerge.

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation*
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Social Support*