244329 Lessons Learned in Planning and Implementing an Internet Based Intervention to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections Among African American Young Adults

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:10 PM

Alison Grodzinski, MLIS , Prevention Research Center of Michigan, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Susan Morrel-Samuels, MPH , Prevention Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Susan Franzen, MS , Prevention Research Center of Michigan, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Flint, MI
Terrance Campbell , HOPE Project, YOUR Center, Flint, MI
Bettina Campbell, MSW , YOUR Center, Flint, MI
Marc Zimmerman, PhD , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Background: In Flint, Michigan, the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for African American residents aged 18-24 are among the highest in the state. Using social media for STI prevention within this age group presents great promise. Yet, engaging young adults to discuss sexual health online presents many challenges. In this presentation, we will discuss the use of community based participatory research methods to develop and implement a technology enhanced evidenced-based prevention program to reduce this disparity.

Methods: We developed an interactive website and social media campaign to enhance the effects of a face-to-face evidence based STI prevention program. The website includes blogs, a discussion forum, online chat, videos and polls. We also use popular social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter to promote the website content and communicate positive sexual health messages. Participants who attend a two-hour HOPE party are invited to join an online community and participate in a follow up chat session. They are also encouraged to share the messages among their own online social networks.

Results: We identified five critical areas of the e-intervention development and implementation: 1) Site Design and Programming; 2) Content Development and Maintenance; 3) Privacy and Confidentiality 4) Promotion and Marketing and 5) Evaluation.

Conclusions: Using the Internet to build a sexual health intervention presents many challenges. Long-term planning, flexibility and user input are critical to the process. We will discuss the challenges and benefits of this approach and tips for implementing a sustainable, attractive and interactive online intervention.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe three challenges associated with developing an interactive website and social media intervention for young adults 2)Identify two online strategies for engaging young adults for sexual health education and prevention.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the communications coordinator at the Prevention Research Center of Michigan. I oversee the HOPE project website and online intervention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.