250659 Using Social Media to Promote Positive Health Behavior Change in Individuals with Disabilities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:50 AM

Amy Rauworth, MS, RCEP , Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Mohanraj Thirumalai, MS , Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Given the research on the increased risk for developing secondary conditions in people with disabilities (including social isolation, stigma, lack of friendships or advocacy structures), as well as the barriers encountered when pursuing health-related activities, the low activity levels and health status of people with disabilities is of concern. The existence of strong social supports can contribute to one's sense of well-being and the popularity of social networking sites can provide a unique medium to combat the numerous barriers that people with disabilities experience when trying to access health enhancing opportunities in their local community. In addition, by promoting positive images through existing social media, the coexistence of disability and health can be represented to the mainstream population. By leveraging the power of social networking and media, the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) seeks to create behavior change through the use of virtual communities that support healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities and utilize technology to address the needs of the individual and the environment.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Identify useful strategies currently used in social media that can apply to people with disabilities in order to recruit for, retain, and create positive health behavior change. Explain useful online social networking technologies that can help build the communities, and how existing technologies can best be put to use specifically in creating communities for people with disabilities.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist who conducts Inclusive Fitness trainings nationally on behalf of NCPAD and specializes in accessible fitness center design. In addition, I have over 15 years of personal training experience, focusing on the delivery of physical activity programming to older adults and people with disabilities and have delivered similar online health promotion programs for the last 3 years.
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.