A new dawn: The role of social media in diabetes education

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This article sets out how social media can be an important and cost-effective form of support to people with diabetes in helping them to build their expertise and practice self-management.  It argues that health professionals need to embrace this and themselves participate.

The article argues that self-management is an integral part of diabetes management and that people with diabetes can learn a great deal from their peers who have built up expertise in self-management through day-to-day living with the condition.  The development of interactive social networks online has enabled people with diabetes to create supportive online communities and share information about their experiences of living with diabetes.  The authors believe that healthcare professionals should embrace the empowerment of people with diabetes and be aware of the online resources available to them. 

The article sets out that the evidence around the use of social networks for people with diabetes is limited, but it does indicate that there is an emerging field for potential research  Healthcare professionals should not ignore these emerging trends and should seek ways to understand how they can participate and support people with diabetes to use this rich resource.

The article concludes that NHS spending on diabetes care now accounts for 10% of the NHS budget, therefore, it is important that we explore all ways of providing care to people with diabetes, and social media is a cost-effective option.

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