Positive Impact of Social Media Use on Depression in Cancer Patients

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Bone and Joint Diseases Research Center, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Department of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 tudent Research Committee, Shiraz,Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Objective: The focus of attention was the prevalence of depression among cancer patients using social networks. An attempt was made to determine if social media could help cancer patients overcome their stress and depression, causes of serious emotional and mental problems for them and their families. Methods: To ascertain the prevalence of depression among cancer patients with reference to use of social networks, 316 cancer patients in the Association of Cancer Patients and cancer-related centers in Tehran at 2015 were evaluated. Depression was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory. Data were analyzed by the Chi-square test with SPSS software. Results: Using the Beck criteria, 61% (N=192) of patients were depressed. Interestingly, a significant difference was observed between depression in users and non-users of social networks (p=0.001), 33.9% and 66.1% being affected, respectively. Conclusion: These results verified a high incidence of depression in cancer patients, but a beneficial effect of social network use. Therefore access to social networks should be promoted for prevention and amelioration of depression. Moreover, it is recommended that particular attention be paid to the patient sex and educational level in designing counseling and psychological skill training programs.


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