Is Social Media the Answer to the Support Desired by People with Rheumatoid Arthritis? A Qualitative Exploration

Serena Pierce, Inam Haq, Simon Otter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is limited literature surrounding social media in relation to inflammatory arthritis. We aimed to explore the role of social media and the use of software applications (apps) by people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

Semi-structured interviews with 14 people with RA explored their current use of social media and how this informed disease management. Thematic analysis was undertaken using NVivo using an IPA approach.

Four key themes were identified (1. arthritis and life, 2. finding support, 3. disease management, 4. using social media), with an overriding theme of disease ownership. The immediacy of support and information provided by social media was advantageous. The desire for more patient-centered social media resources to provide support was noted as was a specific app tailored to the individual.

Participants found social media provided useful support. The creation of a patient-centered app to aid disease management and thus disease ownership was seen as beneficial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalAdvances in Rheumatology and Orthopaedics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2018


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