Chronic pain places a significant burden on individuals as well as health services. Long wait lists to access public clinical pain management services can result, and health outcomes deteriorate. Innovative technologies, such as social media provide opportunities to support self-management within the participatory health framework. This paper aims to investigate patients' perceptions towards using social media while waiting for clinic access, with a particular focus on therapeutic affordances. Seventeen wait-listed patients underwent intervention using various social media resources as part of self-management. Thematic content analysis of semi-structured interviews examined patients' perceptions about social media use and participation. Three therapeutic affordances were most evident in the qualitative data: exploration, connection and narration. Barriers to participation were also identified, such as ‘specificity of the resources’. Findings suggest social media are perceived positively. However, there is also the need to balance a desire to deliver evidence-based practice with patient-preferences in shared-decision making about social media use.
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