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 October 30, 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 October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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