Use of social media for e-Government in the public health sector: A systematic review of published studies

Aizhan Tursunbayeva, Massimo Franco, Claudia Pagliari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Although the intersection between social media and health has received considerable research attention, little is known about how public sector health organizations are using social media for e-Government. This systematic literature review sought to capture, classify, appraise and synthesize relevant evidence from four international research databases and gray literature. From 2441 potentially relevant search results only 22 studies fully met the inclusion criteria. This modest evidence-base is mostly descriptive, unidisciplinary and lacks the theoretical depth seen in other branches of e-Government research. Most studies were published in the last five years in medical journals, focus on Twitter and come from high income countries. The reported e-Government objectives mainly fall into Bertot et al.'s (2010) categories of transparency/accountability, democratic participation, and co-production, with least emphasis on the latter. A unique category of evaluation also emerged. The lack of robust evidence makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of these approaches in the public health sector and further research is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-282
Number of pages13
JournalGovernment information quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • e-Government
  • eHealth
  • Public health
  • Social media


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