AN ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS’ ACCEPTANCE AND APPLICATION OF HEALTH-CARE INFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Young adults are increasingly using social media for seeking health-care information. The nature of social media makes veracity of posted health information questionable. It is against this backdrop that this study assesses the level of acceptance and application of health information on social media, with a focus on students of some randomly selected Nigerian universities in the South-East. The mixed method of research design consisting of survey and focus group discussion was used. Findings indicate that students are enthusiastic and active users of social media. The findings show that students seek and apply health information they sourced from social media. Data from the study revealed that majority of students rarely confirm health information they get on social media with offline medical practitioners, both before and after application. However, despite the availability and ease of sourcing health information on social media, students still prefer offline medical practitioners to social media as source of health information. According to the findings of this study, majority of students perceive health information from offline health practitioners to be more reliable than that sought on social media. The study recommends that rather than discouraging students from searching and learning about their health conditions on social media, students should proactively adapt caution and the necessity of verifying information they source on social media with appropriate offline health information providers, especially before application.
Keywords: student, social media, acceptance, application, health-care, health information.