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Expert Perspectives: A Conversation on the Role of Responsible Patient Leadership

Health Union recently partnered with researchers at the University of Colorado to look at the unique role Patient Leaders play in sharing health-related information with their social media followers. The findings from this research were published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Our Vice President of Community Development, Julie Croner, recently interviewed the lead author, Dr. Erin Willis, PhD, MPH about her findings.

In the interview, Dr. Willis discusses how she became interested in online health communities, and how community members share information with each other. She shares how in her interviews with 26 “patient influencers,” she learned about the extensive community building and information sharing that happens between the influencers and their followers, driven by their “their own experience to share health information so that other patients had a better experience.” She believes “‘patient influencers’ are an undervalued tool for health education and promotion.”

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SocialHealthNetwork.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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