Social media for health promotion in diabetes: study protocol for a participatory public health intervention design.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2018 Jun 5;18(1):414. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-3178-7. Gabarron E1, Bradway M2,3, Fernandez-Luque L4, Chomutare T2, Hansen AH5,6, Wynn R3,7, Arsand E2,3.
BACKGROUND: Participatory health approaches are increasingly drawing attention among the scientific community, and could be used for health promotion programmes on diabetes through social media. The main aim of this project is to research how to best use social media to promote healthy lifestyles with and within the Norwegian population.
METHODS: The design of the health promotion intervention (HPI) will be participatory, and will involve both a panel of healthcare experts and social media users following the Norwegian Diabetes Association. The panel of experts will agree on the contents by following the Delphi method, and social media users will participate in the definition of the HPI by expressing their opinions through an adhoc online questionnaire. The agreed contents between both parties to be used in the HPI will be posted on three social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) along 24 months. The 3 months before starting the HPI, and the 3 months after the HPI will be used as control data. The effect of the HPI will be assessed by comparing formats, frequency, and reactions to the published HPI messages, as well as comparing potential changes in five support-intended communication behaviours expressed on social media, and variations in sentiment analysis before vs during and after the HPI. The HPI's effect on social media users' health-related lifestyles, online health behaviours, and satisfaction with the intervention will be assessed every 6 months through online questionnaires. A separate questionnaire will be used to assess the panel of experts' satisfaction and perceptions of the benefits for health professionals of a HPI as this one.
DISCUSSION: The time constraints of today's medical practice combined with the piling demand of chronic conditions such as diabetes make any additional request of extra time used by health care professionals a challenge. Social media channels provide efficient, ubiquitous and user-friendly platforms that can encourage participation, engagement and action necessary from both those who receive and provide care to make health promotion interventions successful.