Exploring Popular Social Media Networks for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Insights for Better Care

Idan Goren, Gal Sharvit, Lihi Godny, Sarine E. Fatal, Revital Barkan, Ola Hag, Jacob E. Ollech, Tomer Ziv-Baran, Moshe Leshno, Dan Turner, Iris Dotan, Henit Yanai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Goal: The aim was to assess topics of interest and concerns among patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) who are active online. Background: Social media (SM) networks are a major communication tool for patients with IBD and health care professionals. Patients and Methods: We performed an anonymized investigation of SM networks for IBD patients; I-a thematic analysis of patients' posts, II-an online survey advertised through Facebook and other popular SM networks throughout November 2019. Results: Analyzing 2133 posts (2014 to 2019) revealed 18 topics of interest. The online survey was completed by 534 respondents [63%-Crohn's disease, 56%-female, median age-38 years (interquartile range: 28.7 to 51.0)]. Most respondents (70%) were followed in referral centers, and 45% were receiving biological therapy. Respondents reported high satisfaction with IBD care and health care provider professionalism. The top 5 topics of interest were diet, lifestyle, complementary and alternative medicine, diagnostic test interpretation, and specialist referrals and reviews. Cluster analysis demonstrated that gender, income, and education level were associated with specific interest and concerns. Conclusion: Patients' activity on SM is independent of their satisfaction with formal IBD care and rather reflects an ongoing need for information and support. These needs may be addressed both in clinical settings and through online tools.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)E203-E208
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • IBD
  • facebook
  • internet
  • online
  • patient preferences
  • social media
  • survey


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