• Marie Kanstrup
  • Kathrine Lychau Hansen
4. term, Public Health, Master (Master Programme)
Field of study: In the late modern society more individuals than ever are looking for
information on social media in regards to health. The issue can be that the health information
often does not rely on the best accessible knowledge but on subjective attitudes and experiences
from e.g. Influencers. This can potentially result in misinformation, contradictory advice about
health issues and manipulated information can be spread. Since scientists worldwide are of the
opinion that this should be acknowledged as a global threat to the public health it is found
relevant to investigate how the largest health authority in Denmark, the Danish Health
Authority, are acting on this phenomenon. On the basis of this it is relevant to look into the
potential for development and change within the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen).
This can potentially result in more individuals opting out of undocumented assertions and base
their choices of health on the basis of the best accessible scientific knowledge.

Problem statement: How does individuals experience health related information on social media
and on what basis does individuals make health related choices? Furthermore what reflections are
related to the fact that knowledge sharing is not always on a scientific basis? And how can this
knowledge can contribute to several individuals get the opportunity to make health related
decisions based on the available evidence? The is a desire to discuss and analyse this focussing on
identifying needs for change and development at ‘Sundhedsstyrelsen’

Methods: The empirical data of this report is based on five individual semi-structured
interviews, which are pilot tested and collected via Facebook using the snowball effect. In
addition, a systematic search is performed resulting in the identification of four scientific
studies, which are included in the analysis, interpretation and discussion. During data
processing 14 themes emerged. These are gathered in nine themes in the analysis. The report
takes a philosophical hermeneutic position meaning that new knowledge emerges when
horizons meet and therefore is a product of the empirical data, the literature and the authors of
the report. The potential areas for development are presented in the discussion, illustrated in a
logical model, which explicates the generative mechanisms expected to emerge from the

Conclusion: Health related information on the social media is a positive experience and choices
are made on the basis of individual criteria. Better accessible in health related information can
be increased if “Sundhedsstyrelsen” are willing to change according to potential development
potentials. If so the possibility increases for individuals to make health-related decisions based
on best available knowledge potentiel.
Publication date2 Jun 2020
Number of pages123
ID: 333397043