Implications of social media use on health information technology engagement: Data from HINTS 4 cycle 3

Transl Behav Med. 2016 Dec;6(4):566-576. doi: 10.1007/s13142-016-0437-1.


Little is known about the association between Internet/social media use and health information technology (HIT) engagement. This study examines patterns of social media use and HIT engagement in the U.S.A. using data from the 2013 Health Information National Trends Survey (N = 3,164). Specifically, predictors of two HIT activities (i.e., communicating with a healthcare provider using the Internet or email and tracking personal health information electronically) are examined. Persons who were females, higher education, non-Hispanic others, having a regular healthcare provider, and ages 35-44 were more likely to participate in HIT activities. After controlling for sociodemographics and health correlates, social media use was significantly associated with HIT engagement. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to systematically examine the use and relationships across multiple types of health-related online media.

Keywords: Communication inequalities; Health information technology engagement; Internet access; Social media use.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communications Media
  • Data Collection*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Medical Informatics / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult