Social Networks, Social Support and Health Care
Maksim Tsvetovat (Open Cancer Network, USA), Cristina Metgher (Open Cancer Network, USA) & Tatyana Kanzaveli (Open Cancer Network, USA)
Positive role of social support in healthcare and treatment of serious diseases is well-known, but is not well-studied scientifically. It is difficult if not impossible to construct a controlled experiment where levels of social support or position in a social network are independent variables -- and thus we are often limited to observational studies or small-n statistics.
The age of social media and big data has changed the input side of this equation. While it is still difficult to measure the amount and quality of social support received by a patient "in real life", this information is more and more revealed in social media -- and thus is publicly accessible to researchers.
In this session, we invite papers that use SNA techniques to analyze social support networks related to healthcare. We are interested in possible contagion effects (both positive and negative), formation of ad-hoc peer support networks in patient communities, engagement between researchers, healthcare providers and patients in online media, and other modalities that may influence quality of medical care through social support.