Background Emerging evidences suggest that use of social media helps to share information and resources and reach intended and ‘beyond’ audiences with quick and fast manner. Currently, hospices around the UK and the world actively engage with social media with different purposes. Yet, little is reported around the role of social media and its benefits for hospices.
Aim To investigate the use, engagement and the reach-out of social media among four hospices in the UK.
Methods A qualitative case study approach was adopted; studying purposeful sampling of four social media engaged hospices within UK. Data collection used multiple methods to collect publically available data that include feeds, comments, shares, tweets, status updates from two online social networking sites namely Facebook and Twitter of selected hospices. Using Nivio10®, a thematic analysis was undertaken.
Results Analysis of data found that all the hospices were actively engaged mainly in four different activities; fundraising, sharing best clinical practices, promoting educational activities, and adverting jobs. Hospices also involved in community outreach activities by celebrating local events and cultural and religious celebrations.
Conclusion Findings indicate that engagement with social media enable hospices to remain in ‘core businesses’ of ‘running with local support’. Yet, hospices could be more explicit in sharing about how well it benefits for patients and carers that could enable access to hospice services across the diverse population by sharing stories of hospice patients and relatives’ experiences.
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