Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Local health departments find Twitter effective in spreading diabetes information

Date:
May 9, 2013
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
The web-based social media site Twitter is proving to be an effective tool for local health departments in disseminating health information — especially in promoting specific health behaviors.

The web-based social media site Twitter is proving to be an effective tool for local health departments in disseminating health information -- especially in promoting specific health behaviors.

Related Articles


The latest study, led by Jenine K. Harris, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, focused on diabetes, a disease that may affect an estimated one-third of U.S. adults by 2050.

"We focused on diabetes first, both because of increasing diabetes rates," Harris says, "and also because people living with diabetes tend to use online health-related resources at a fairly high rate, so they are an audience that is already online and on social media."

The study was published May 2 in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) electronic journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, and focused on how local health departments use social media to educate and inform the public about diabetes.

In a one-month period, Harris' team collected all tweets posted from every local health department with a Twitter account that were diabetes-related. Harris and her team then compared the health departments who utilized Twitter with those who did not.

The findings: Of 217 health departments with Twitter accounts, 126 had tweeted about diabetes, with three diabetes tweets being the median since adopting Twitter.

Health departments tweeting about diabetes were in larger cities, had more staff including public information specialists, and had higher per capita spending than those not tweeting about diabetes. Local health departments tweeting about diabetes were more likely to provide programs in diabetes-related areas like nutrition, physical activity, and chronic disease.

"Social media reaches a large proportion of the population, including low-income and minority groups that are often hard to reach," Harris says. "Some research has demonstrated that people are looking online for health information, making social media a potentially very useful way to reach a large audience already seeking health information."

The study was co-authored by Nancy Mueller, project coordinator and an alumnus of the Brown School's Master of Public Health (MPH) program; Doneisha L. Snider, a student in the MPH program and graduate research assistant at the Center for Public Health Systems Science; and Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD, director of the Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research and the Center for Diabetes Translation Research at WUSTL and associate dean for research at the Brown School.

The study was supported by the Washington University Center for Diabetes Translation Research with a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jenine K. Harris, Nancy L. Mueller, Doneisha Snider, Debra Haire-Joshu. Local Health Department Use of Twitter to Disseminate Diabetes Information, United States. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2013; 10 DOI: 10.5888/pcd10.120215

Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "Local health departments find Twitter effective in spreading diabetes information." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509123324.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2013, May 9). Local health departments find Twitter effective in spreading diabetes information. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509123324.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "Local health departments find Twitter effective in spreading diabetes information." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509123324.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calling All Men: Here's Your Chance to Experience Labor Pains

Calling All Men: Here's Your Chance to Experience Labor Pains

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 20, 2014) Chinese hospital offers men a chance to experience the pain of child birth via electric shocks. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins