Development of a social network website to prevent HIV in a young adult homeless population
Methods: Using a grounded theory approach, three focus groups (n=15) were conducted within a single geographic location. Groups were co-facilitated by a qualitative researcher and a web-site engineer, and held sequentially, each group expanding on findings from the previous group(s). Members specified features and content to make a website attractive and useful. Using material developed by the engineer, the second and third groups also included website development.
Results: Findings affirmed the acceptability of a social network website. Consistently, participants described an approach tailored to the local geographic social network. Features included informal advice on access to local services, and facilitating social connections for population members. An initial web structure refined across groups demonstrated the unique needs of the young adult homeless populations.
Discussion: The development process demonstrated the ability to develop social network websites for this difficult-to-reach population. However, they also suggest the importance of tailoring websites to specific locations and social networks. While this is an important step in improving access to prevention efforts, next steps require implementation and demonstration of the effectiveness of this approach.
Learning Areas:Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Describe challenges to providing services to young adult homeless. Describe features identified by young adult homeless associated with increased use of a social network website.
Keyword(s): HIV Risk Behavior, Homelessness
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the research and data collection methods and led the analysis and write up.
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.