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Child health research and social media
  1. Jemma Cleminson
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jemma Cleminson, Centre of Reviews and Dissemination, Alcuin B block, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK; jsc532{at}, cleminsonjemma{at}

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Social media is the interaction between people via the internet to create and share content on social networking platforms. Methods of communication take several forms. Social media can enable people from a variety of backgrounds to communicate via a relatively cheap method, either openly or confidentially, not requiring face-to-face meetings. With more young people and researchers engaging in social media, it is important to consider the range of possibilities and limitations of these methods of communication between these groups.1

Use in conducting research

Academic researchers in paediatric healthcare are recognising the potential of social media to provide a method to engage the paediatric population, relating to study design, participation, recruitment, retention and dissemination of findings, as well as providing a rich data source of information for research. Examples of recent applications to research are given in table 1.2

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Table 1

Examples of using social media to involve young people in research

The EcLiPSE trial3 demonstrates the use of social media in study recruitment. It sought to improve the treatment of children with status epilepticus. Due to the emergency setting of the study, deferred consent was required. The study group conducted a qualitative study of parents of children who have experience of paediatric emergency care, to explore …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.