March 9, 2014

A Mixed-Methods Study of Young Adults' Receptivity to Using Facebook for Smoking Cessation: If You Build It, Will They Come?


A Mixed-Methods Study of Young Adults' Receptivity to Using Facebook for Smoking Cessation: If You Build It, Will They Come?
Am J Health Promot. 2014 Feb 27;
Authors: Ramo DE, Liu H, Prochaska JJ

Purpose . To determine whether young adults are interested in a Facebook intervention for smoking cessation and to inform the design of such an intervention. Design . Mixed-methods. Setting . Participants throughout the United States were recruited through Facebook. Participants . Young adults aged 18 to 25 years who had smoked at least once in the past month. Method . Participants (N = 570) completed an online survey of tobacco and social media use. A subset of 30 survey completers, stratified by motivation to quit smoking, agreed to participate in a structured interview over online chat. Themes were identified by using grounded theory. Results . Approximately a third of the full sample (31%) reported they would want to get help to quit smoking by using Facebook. Interest in using Facebook to quit was greater among those who were more motivated to quit (χ(2) = 75.2, p < .001), had made a quit attempt in the past year (χ(2) = 16.0, p < .001), and had previously used the Internet for assistance with a quit attempt (χ(2) = 6.2, p = .013). In qualitative interviews, social support and convenience were identified as strengths of a Facebook intervention, while privacy was the main issue of concern. Conclusion . Nearly one in three young adult smokers on Facebook expressed interest in using Facebook for quitting smoking. Social media approaches that respect privacy and tailor to readiness to quit are likely to maximize participation.

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