November 20, 2014

Facebook and Adolescent Dating Violence

A Formative Evaluation of Social Media Campaign to Reduce Adolescent Dating Violence.
Authors: Lambert DN, Bishop LE, Guetig S, Frew PM

QUESTION: can Facebook help reduce adolescent dating abuse among 11-14 year olds?

OBJECTIVE: to determine if an online media campaign utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, and Pinterest would reach the intended audience.

METHODS: web analytics provided user information and traffic patterns.

RESULTS: Facebook was the highest rated social media platform, but the campaign reach was primarily outside of the target of 11- 14 year olds. The campaign primarily reached women (76.5% of viewership) who were outside of the range of 11-14 years of age.

CONCLUSIONS: this online media campaign targeting young adolescents primarily reached people outside the target group.

JMIR Res Protoc. 2014;3(4):e64

October 30, 2014

Internet Medical Association Opportunities

As the Internet Medical Association grows, more members are needed to lead discussion groups and moderate our social media sites. Our current openings are:

Facebook Page Moderator for our fan page. This job involves moderating comments and leading discussions on our Facebook page.

Editorial Board Member for the Internet Medical Journal. This job involves writing a monthly editorial about recent medical news published by the Internet Medical Journal.

Linked In Moderator for our company page.This job involves moderating comments and updating the Linked In website on a regular basis.

If you are interested in promoting responsible medical discussions online, please contact our editorial team on our Facebook Page.

October 20, 2014

Facebook addiction

The uses and abuses of Facebook: A review of Facebook addiction.
BACKGROUND: social networking sites can be addictive for some individuals

METHOD: meta-analysis of 24 studies examining the uses and gratifications of Facebook, and nine studies of Facebook addiction.

RESULTS: The most popular motives for Facebook use are relationship maintenance, passing time, entertainment, and companionship. Facebook addiction is when use becomes excessive or motivated by a desire for mood alteration.

CONCLUSIONS: Research currently is too limited to establish links between normal Facebook use and Facebook addiction.

J Behav Addict. 2014 Sep;3(3):133-48

October 16, 2014

Ethical Considerations for Using Social Media in Medical Research

Social media are becoming increasingly integrated into both the clinical and the research dimensions of emergency medicine. They can provide methods for sharing crucial information to targeted individuals or groups in a rapid fashion. As a result, investigators conducting emergency research under the exception from prospective informed consent requirements are beginning to turn to social media platforms as they engage in required community consultation and public disclosure activities before their research begins. At present, there are limited data regarding how effectively social media have been used for performing those consultation and disclosure activities. This article offers investigators four specific areas to consider before using social media in consultation and outreach efforts. First, understand the forms of outreach social media platforms can provide. Second, recognize how those outreach methods relate to the specific goals of community consultation and public disclosure. Third, consider whether or not the intended audiences of community consultation and public disclosure will be available via social media. Finally, think about how social media outreach efforts will be measured and assessed before consultation and disclosure activities are under way.


Acad Emerg Med. 2014 Oct;21(10):1151-1157

April 30, 2014

"I will take a shot for every 'like' I get on this status": posting alcohol-related facebook content is linked to drinking outcomes.


"I will take a shot for every 'like' I get on this status": posting alcohol-related facebook content is linked to drinking outcomes.
J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2014 May;75(3):390-8
Authors: Westgate EC, Neighbors C, Heppner H, Jahn S, Lindgren KP

ABSTRACT. Objective: This study investigated whether self-reports of alcohol-related postings on Facebook by oneself or one's Facebook friends were related to common motives for drinking and were uniquely predictive of self-reported alcohol outcomes (alcohol consumption, problems, and cravings). Method: Pacific Northwest undergraduates completed a survey of alcohol outcomes, drinking motives, and alcohol related Facebook postings. Participants completed the survey online as part of a larger study on alcohol use and cognitive associations. Participants were randomly selected through the university registrar's office and consisted of 1,106 undergraduates (449 men, 654 women, 2 transgender, 1 declined to answer) between the ages of 18 and 25 years (M = 20.40, SD = 1.60) at a large university in the Pacific Northwest. Seven participants were excluded from analyses because of missing or suspect data. Results: Alcohol-related postings on Facebook were significantly correlated with social, enhancement, conformity, and coping motives for drinking (all ps < .001). After drinking motives were controlled for, self-alcohol-related postings independently and positively predicted the number of drinks per week, alcohol-related problems, risk of alcohol use disorders, and alcohol cravings (all ps < .001). In contrast, friends' alcohol-related postings only predicted the risk of alcohol use disorders (p < .05) and marginally predicted alcohol-related problems (p = .07). Conclusions: Posting alcohol-related content on social media platforms such as Facebook is associated with common motivations for drinking and is, in itself, a strong predictive indicator of drinking outcomes independent of drinking motives. Moreover, self-related posting activity appears to be more predictive than Facebook friends' activity. These findings suggest that social media platforms may be a useful target for future preventative and intervention efforts. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 75, 390-398, 2014).

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March 21, 2014

Suicide on facebook.

Current suicide assessment relies primarily on the patient's oral history. This article describes the case of a patient who was hospitalized after making an impulsive suicide attempt. Subsequently, social media was used to identify the events leading up to the attempt and to reconstruct a timeline. This evidence helped the patient gain more insight into the severity of his condition and agree to participate in treatment. Facebook and other social media may prove to be helpful adjuncts to suicide prevention efforts both in treatment and in screening for high-risk individuals who may not voluntarily come to clinical attention. J Psychiatr Pract. 2014 Mar;20(2):141-6

March 18, 2014

Using twitter to examine smoking behavior and perceptions of emerging tobacco products.


OBJECTIVE: To develop a content and sentiment analysis of tobacco-related Twitter posts and build machine learning classifiers to detect tobacco-relevant posts and sentiment towards tobacco, with a particular focus on new and emerging products like hookah and electronic cigarettes.

METHODS: We collected 7362 tobacco-related Twitter posts at 15-day intervals from December 2011 to July 2012.

RESULTS: Sentiment toward tobacco was overall more positive (1939/4215, 46% of tweets) than negative (1349/4215, 32%) or neutral among tweets mentioning it, even excluding the 9% of tweets categorized as marketing.

CONCLUSIONS: Novel insights available through Twitter for tobacco surveillance are attested through the high prevalence of positive sentiment.

J Med Internet Res. 2013;15(8):e174