Diabetes support groups on social media: A qualitative evaluation of diabetes specific information exchanges on Facebook
methods: Permission to join and observe the closed group was obtained from the group administrator. Member posts in the group were recorded and analyzed. The analysis used constant comparison method to group and evaluate member posts into appropriate categories and thematic units. Two investigators analyzed posts. Each one independently coded and categorized all posts. Their respective coding structures were then compared. Any differences in interpretation were resolved through discussion until a consensus was obtained.
results: While data collection and analysis are ongoing, preliminary exploration indicate that membership in closed groups consisted of patients with diabetes, family members, and associated friends. Preliminary analysis show that posts generally fell within three categories: social health marketing/promotion, community health support/encouragement, and information/awareness.
conclusion: The results of preliminary analysis indicate that the use of social media for the implementation of health communications targeting healthy behavior modification in a closed group of diabetes patients has great potential for aiding in sustainable healthy behavior modification and improved long-term health outcomes. Results of this study will inform recommendations for future research exploring social media as a resource for health improvement.
Learning Areas:Communication and informatics
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Evaluate the content of communication in Facebook communities dedicated to diabetes. Understand the role of social media in health information seeking. Describe the type of content posted by group members in a closed online community.
Keyword(s): Diabetes, Social Media
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have served as a graduate research assistant for several federally funded research projects focusing on sustainable community health initiatives in special at-risk, low income, and/or minority communities. My scientific interests have included chronic disease prevention related to diabetes, nutrition, obesity, and tobacco use. I am a new presenter. My research duties have included data collection, data entry, data analysis, and writing for academic publications.
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.