How to Maximize Your Social Media Experience at #eHealth2017

Challenging time for healthcare innovators in Canada

Colin Hung (@Colin_Hung) is a Toronto-based HealthIT marketing consultant and the founder of #hcldr – one of the largest online healthcare communities on Twitter. He has helped numerous Canadian HealthIT companies expand in Canada and the US.

Last year at e-Health 2016 in Vancouver, Colin was the top Tweeter at the conference. We asked him to share what he is hoping to see at e-Health 2017, why he is so active on social media and what tips he has for those that want to start building their online reputations.

What are you hoping to see at e-Health 2017?

e-Health is the biggest showcase for Canadian healthcare and it is the best place to get an overview of what’s happening from a technology, policy and business perspective. There is no other conference like it in Canada. This year I’m really hoping to find made-in-Canada innovation at e-Health 2017. We have so many smart, passionate people working in our healthcare system who want to improve it. I hope to see innovative thinking/solutions from the presenters and exhibitors at e-Health 2017.

It is a very challenging time for innovation in Canadian healthcare. With healthcare funding under pressure, governments and healthcare organizations are reluctant to invest in innovative solutions. Instead, they revert to the status quo and focus on optimization rather than innovation. I’m hoping to find rebels at e-Health 2017 who are embracing the constraints of Canadian healthcare and coming up with cool solutions to our challenges.

Why are you so active on social media at healthcare conferences?

Using social media at a conference transforms you from a recipient of information to an interactive participant in the event. Social media takes the conference from a run-of-the-mill networking/educational experience and ratchets it up a notch.

Normally at a conference like e-Health, an attendee might meet 25-30 new people (maybe a bit more if you are a masterful networker and attend all the social events). When you use social media you can meet upwards of 50-75 new people at a conference – all because you are sharing the use of the conference hashtag (in this case #eHealth2017).

As well, when you share conference content “live” via social platforms like Facebook Live, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, you help extend the reach of the conference beyond the attendees physically in the building. People across the country and around the world can participate remotely through social media. This helps build the profile of the conference, the speaker and for you as the person sharing the useful content.

Is it rude to live-tweet or snap pictures during conference sessions?

<laughing> I get this question a lot. I think 2 years ago, if you were madly typing on your phone or laptop during a session, people would have assumed you were answering email and ignoring the speaker. However, nowadays I think it’s more accepted that people in the audience are using social media during sessions to share information they are learning or doing further research on the topic and sharing it with their social circles. Tweets, snaps, posts and likes are the new applause.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to use social media for the first time at  2017?

My advice is jump in! Pick any social platform – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram or the e-Health 2017 mobile app and use it to share the useful/fun things you see at e-Health 2017. Don’t worry about constructing the perfect post or tweet, just be yourself and release your thought into the social universe. After a few posts people will start replying to you and pretty soon you’ll have established an online connection.  

You spend a lot of time in the US, what is the funniest misconception you have heard about Canadian Healthcare?

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of misconceptions from our southern neighbours:

  • That the Canadian government has “Death Panels” that decide whether or not to treat terminal patients solely on the basis of cost
  • That Canadians pay a 50% healthcare tax as part of their wages
  • That Canadians are rationed when it comes to healthcare meaning we can only visit the doctor or hospital a certain number of times each year

I think one of the funniest misconceptions I have heard from the US also happens to be one of the saddest:

  • The Canadian healthcare system only allows nurses to practice for 5 years, because after that, their salaries get too high for our system to handle so they leave to be nurses in other countries

This came from a physician who worked at a hospital where they had an extraordinary number of Canadian trained nurses who had left Canada for the greener pastures south of the border.

The post How to Maximize Your Social Media Experience at #eHealth2017 appeared first on e-Health Annual Conference & Tradeshow 2017 | e-Health 2017 Toronto, ON.

e-Health Annual Conference & Tradeshow 2017 | e-Health 2017 Toronto, ON

Katy Perry Is Getting Blasted on Social Media For Supposedly ‘Racist’ Comments

(Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Katy Perry has drummed up controversy on social media—not for revealing herself as a Guy Fieri look-alike, but for reportedly making some allegedly racially insensitive comments.

On a recent Instagram Live, the pop princess—sporting a striking new blonde pixie cut—fielded questions from fans. Then, one commenter chimed in that she missed Katy’s long black tresses, which prompted KP to crack a now-controversial joke.

“Oh, someone says, ‘I miss your old black hair.’ Oh, really? Do you miss Barack Obama as well? Oh, Okay. Times change. Bye! See you guys later.”

What she says it true: both her black hair and our former black president are gone. But really, did her quip have anything at all to do with race, or was she merely referring to two things that are missed?

Unsurprisingly, some outraged commentators went with the former option…

Things may be getting even more awkward for the “Chained to the Rhythm” singer. Coinciding with that aforementioned furor, a tweet has re-emerged from 2013 by a producer for The Wkd alleging that she flippantly tossed around the word “nigga.”

Yikes. But at least at this point, it’s still hearsay, and Katy has yet to comment.

Of course, the possibility remains that this is all the doing of a vengeful Guy Fieri, who is plotting to destroy his new lookalike’s reputation. 

View the original article to see embedded media.


Exclusive: Supermodel Chrissy Teigen Reveals How to Be a Vodka-Swilling, Burrito-Scarfing Social Media Ninja

With the possible exception of a certain Tweeter-in-Chief, at this moment there is no one on the planet who dominates social media quite like Chrissy Teigen.

Whether she’s sleeping through the Oscars, squeezing into a skintight jumpsuit, or dealing with the repercussions of a Super Bowl nip slip, the 31-year-old supermodel and Lip Sync Battle co-host skillfully spins the situation into often-hilarious (and always sexy) gold.

Just this week, she was caught in a severe rainstorm while accompanying her husband, music icon John Legend, to the Time 100 Gala in New York City. No matter—Chrissy posted an eye-popping Insta pic worthy of any fancy-schmancy fashion magazine.

If you want to know how she does it, gather ‘round and listen up. Maxim had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Chrissy at a cocktail party hosted by Smirnoff vodka, and she’s somehow even more awesome in person than we ever imagined. In a world full of fakes, she’s the real deal.

Your Smirnoff commercials are great, especially that one where you come home from the club, pour yourself some vodka, and totally house a burrito.

It’s very realistic. That was one of the easier ones to do. The one where my mom and I are mixing the cocktails was tough because I’m not a good cocktail mixer, but the burrito one we nailed in like a couple hours.

How many burritos did you have to eat while shooting?

I had one bite of 54 burritos. That’s gotta be like 10 burritos or something.

Were they good burritos at least?

They were. I asked that they be from Cactus Taqueria on Vine in Hollywood. They do this fine steak and rice mixture that’s tossed nicely—not like big, thick slices of steak.

If you’re eating after a night of partying, you don’t want a big piece of steak.

Pretty much. This one you can just put in a bowl with a spoon.

What’s your favorite way to have Smirnoff?

I’m a Smirnoff 21 and soda girl. I like it very simple, with a little splash of lime, not too much acid because I’m an old person.

What was the first booze you drank when you were a kid?

Everclear. I made that mistake. But I actually didn’t have a sip of alcohol in high school—not that you should drink in high school, obviously. But I was not a partier. I waited until I was able to drink responsibly, and then that one drink just really took me over.

I didn’t know anyone over 21 actually drank Everclear.

It was a dare. I never did it again. I can still feel it.

You’re incredible at social media, you truly have a gift. When did you first get online?

I was always a big lover of social media, whether it was message boards or in AOL chatrooms.

Do you remember your AOL screen name?

It was definitely MissChrissy-something-1130—my birthday. I loved advice message boards, I was always interacting with people.

Did you ever pretend to be someone else?

Oh yeah, I think being British was my big thing.

Blimey! One of your greatest social media moments was when you were caught sleeping at the Oscars.

That was very real. Basically what happened is that it’s a very, very early day. And I get ready really early, because I have this hair and makeup team that I really love. And in order to have them, you’ve got to go let them do their big superstars, and you kind of take whatever time you can get. So I get ready very early for it, and I take my mid-day nap, and then there’s the green room, and you don’t really want to sit in the seats because you’re talking to really incredible, beautiful people. By the time you make it to your seat…I was out for a solid eight minutes by the time that had happened.

That’s pretty impressive.

I can sleep anywhere. People thought I was doing it in some kind of protest of Casey Affleck or something, but I really was just sleeping.

You were inadvertently “woke” by being asleep.

Ha, yes! Exactly. Everyone was like, “I love that she did that against Casey.” I’ll take it.

The talking boobs thing was also amazing.

I actually didn’t watch that because I was scared. I didn’t see it.

How do these things come to you?

Honestly, I don’t know. I just think so little of nakedness. I’ve been modeling for such a long time, and it’s a job. You strip down, you put your pants on, you zip it up, you just stand there, other people are dressing you. I remember when I first started, I’d kind of hide behind things. At this point, I just want to be efficient, so I’m like, get naked, put your arms out, let other people put lotion on you, they put your pants on, they zip your pants, and that’s it.

And everyone is professional.

Truly. Everyone thinks photo assistants have the best job in the world, but they just hold the light reflector and stuff.

They’re carrying crap all day. They probably have incredibly sore muscles.

Yes! They’re not getting boners. They’re really working, and it’s just part of the job. It’s more boring than you’d think.

Your ability to use your words to shut down haters also seems like a natural gift.

It can be exhausting sometimes. I always wonder why I do it because it draws attention to them.

You can’t help yourself.

Sometimes they’re asking for it. And I have a need for justice, and I like people to know that there’s somebody else on the other side of the computer, and someone is reading this. More often than not—and this kills me, I hate it so much—they’re like, “Oh my god, I love you! I just wanted a reply.” That is what kills me. The people who actually hate me, I’m kind of more down for that than the people that are just begging for the reply.

They’re thirsty.

Yes! I wish they actually hated me.

Your relationship with your husband John Legend seems so great. Do you have any relationship advice?

I think all the greatness would come from his side. I’m very moody, I’m up-and-down, and I’m very passionate. When I love something, I love it, when I hate it, I hate it. You can always tell what’s on my mind, which I think is really great, because you’ll never be left wondering if I am happy. If you ask where I want to go to dinner, I don’t say, “I don’t know, where do you want to go to dinner?” I have somewhere I want to go and something I want to do. John has always just balanced that really nicely by being so accommodating of every single quirk of my personality. It’s not easy, for sure, and I just got lucky that he balances me so perfectly.

What advice would you give to guys who haven’t been able to find a relationship like you have. Do you think meeting online is a good idea?

Yes, I love that. John and I have been together for so long that I was never a part of that world of meeting people online, but I do love it. We’ve been to a few weddings, and I feel like it’s really great for people to get out there and take that risk. I feel like finding someone at a club, for example, you never really know who’s ready for a serious relationship. And at least on these websites, you know that you’re both looking for something, whether it’s just a hookup or an actual relationship. It’s out there, and you know it.

Any other advice?

I really think people should take more risks—it’s really good to go outside of your comfort zone. John was never the type of guy I wanted, and I never thought I’d be with someone as brilliant and well-spoken and talented as John. I dated, like, club promoters and restauranteurs, and they all had tattoos. Like, one had a gun tattoo on his side. John isn’t exactly the type of guy I was going for when I was younger. I liked surfer dudes and everything.

Even though he’s so cool, he’s got a kind of nerdiness.

Yes. I would say definitely go for the nerds. Honestly, they make you feel like a million bucks, you’re never going to get bored with the conversation. I’m learning something new every single day, and I’m proud of it. I’m proud to have someone that’s able to explain absolutely anything on this planet to me and be excited to explain it to me. That kind of stuff will never ever get old. And my spark of fun, taking him out and making him see this adventurous side of the world, is never going to get old to him, either. I think the opposite thing really works well.

Finally, do you have any tips for taking a great selfie?

I’m not a big selfie person. If anything, I just do those filters on Snapchat. But I’m not a selfie person. I take one million. I’m the worst at it. And the worst part is, when I get around people who can really take a good selfie, I get extra nervous and I look so stupid. Whenever I’m around Kim [Kardashian] or something, I’ll make this face because I’m trying to be too sexy. It’ll be too thin, or too pucker-y, and then I look even crazier than in my normal solo selfies. So no, I’m not the one to ask.

Kim doesn’t have to take a hundred selfies to get it right?

No, she pretty much nails it. She’ll do a couple angles, but she nails it.

She’s even good at the ones in the bathroom where it’s not a sexy background, and you can see like spare rolls of toilet paper.

I’m telling you man, it’s a talent.


Impact of Social Processes in Online Health Communities on Patient Empowerment in Relationship With the Physician: Emergence of Functional and Dysfunctional Empowerment

Background: Substantial research demonstrates the importance of online health communities (OHCs) for patient empowerment, although the impact on the patient-physician relationship is understudied. Patient empowerment also occurs in relationship with the physician, but studies of OHCs mostly disregard this. The question also remains about the nature and consequences of this empowerment, as it might be based on the limited validity of some information in OHCs. Objective: The main purpose of this study was to examine the impact of social processes in OHCs (information exchange with users and health professional moderators, social support, finding meaning, and self-expressing) on functional and dysfunctional patient empowerment in relationship with the physician (PERP). This impact was investigated by taking into account moderating role of eHealth literacy and physician’s paternalism. Method: An email list–based Web survey on a simple random sample of 25,000 registered users of the most popular general OHC in Slovenia was conducted. A total of 1572 respondents completed the survey. The analyses were conducted on a subsample of 591 regular users, who had visited a physician at least once in the past 2 years. To estimate the impact of social processes in OHC on functional and dysfunctional PERP, we performed a series of hierarchical regression analyses. To determine the moderating role of eHealth literacy and the perceived physician characteristics, interactions were included in the regression analyses. Results: The mean age of the respondents in the sample was 37.6 years (SD 10.3) and 83.3% were females. Factor analyses of the PERP revealed a five-factor structure with acceptable fit (root-mean-square error of approximation =.06). Most important results are that functional self-efficacy is positively predicted by information exchange with health professional moderators (beta=.12, P=.02), information exchange with users (beta=.12, P=.05), and giving social support (beta=.13, P=.02), but negatively predicted with receiving social support (beta=−.21, P<.001). Functional control is also predicted by information exchange with health professional moderators (beta=.16, P=.005). Dysfunctional control and competence are inhibited by information exchanges with health professionals (beta=−.12, P=.03), whereas dysfunctional self-efficacy is inhibited by self-expressing (beta=−.12, P=.05). The process of finding meaning likely leads to the development of dysfunctional competences and control if the physician is perceived to be paternalistic (beta=.14, P=.03). Under the condition of high eHealth literacy, the process of finding meaning will inhibit the development of dysfunctional competences and control (beta=−.17, P=.01). Conclusions: Social processes in OHCs do not have a uniform impact on PERP. This impact is moderated by eHealth literacy and physician paternalism. Exchanging information with health professional moderators in OHCs is the most important factor for stimulating functional PERP as well as diminishing dysfunctional PERP. Social support in OHCs plays an ambiguous role, often making patients behave in a strategic, uncooperative way toward physicians. Journal of Medical Internet Research

Comparison of Different Recruitment Methods for Sexual and Reproductive Health Research: Social Media–Based Versus Conventional Methods

Background: Prior research about the sexual and reproductive health of young women has relied mostly on self-reported survey studies. Thus, participant recruitment using Web-based methods can improve sexual and reproductive health research about cervical cancer prevention. In our prior study, we reported that Facebook is a promising way to reach young women for sexual and reproductive health research. However, it remains unknown whether Web-based or other conventional recruitment methods (ie, face-to-face or flyer distribution) yield comparable survey responses from similar participants. Objective: We conducted a survey to determine whether there was a difference in the sexual and reproductive health survey responses of young Japanese women based on recruitment methods: social media–based and conventional methods. Methods: From July 2012 to March 2013 (9 months), we invited women of ages 16-35 years in Kanagawa, Japan, to complete a Web-based questionnaire. They were recruited through either a social media–based (social networking site, SNS, group) or by conventional methods (conventional group). All participants enrolled were required to fill out and submit their responses through a Web-based questionnaire about their sexual and reproductive health for cervical cancer prevention. Results: Of the 243 participants, 52.3% (127/243) were recruited by SNS, whereas 47.7% (116/243) were recruited by conventional methods. We found no differences between recruitment methods in responses to behaviors and attitudes to sexual and reproductive health survey, although more participants from the conventional group (15%, 14/95) chose not to answer the age of first intercourse compared with those from the SNS group (5.2%, 6/116; P=.03). Conclusions: No differences were found between recruitment methods in the responses of young Japanese women to a Web–based sexual and reproductive health survey.
Journal of Medical Internet Research

Using Mobile Sensing to Test Clinical Models of Depression, Social Anxiety, State Affect, and Social Isolation Among College Students

Background: Research in psychology demonstrates a strong link between state affect (moment-to-moment experiences of positive or negative emotionality) and trait affect (eg, relatively enduring depression and social anxiety symptoms), and a tendency to withdraw (eg, spending time at home). However, existing work is based almost exclusively on static, self-reported descriptions of emotions and behavior that limit generalizability. Despite adoption of increasingly sophisticated research designs and technology (eg, mobile sensing using a global positioning system [GPS]), little research has integrated these seemingly disparate forms of data to improve understanding of how emotional experiences in everyday life are associated with time spent at home, and whether this is influenced by depression or social anxiety symptoms. Objective: We hypothesized that more time spent at home would be associated with more negative and less positive affect. Methods: We recruited 72 undergraduate participants from a southeast university in the United States. We assessed depression and social anxiety symptoms using self-report instruments at baseline. An app (Sensus) installed on participants’ personal mobile phones repeatedly collected in situ self-reported state affect and GPS location data for up to 2 weeks. Time spent at home was a proxy for social isolation. Results: We tested separate models examining the relations between state affect and time spent at home, with levels of depression and social anxiety as moderators. Models differed only in the temporal links examined. One model focused on associations between changes in affect and time spent at home within short, 4-hour time windows. The other 3 models focused on associations between mean-level affect within a day and time spent at home (1) the same day, (2) the following day, and (3) the previous day. Overall, we obtained many of the expected main effects (although there were some null effects), in which higher social anxiety was associated with more time or greater likelihood of spending time at home, and more negative or less positive affect was linked to longer homestay. Interactions indicated that, among individuals higher in social anxiety, higher negative affect and lower positive affect within a day was associated with greater likelihood of spending time at home the following day. Conclusions: Results demonstrate the feasibility and utility of modeling the relationship between affect and homestay using fine-grained GPS data. Although these findings must be replicated in a larger study and with clinical samples, they suggest that integrating repeated state affect assessments in situ with continuous GPS data can increase understanding of how actual homestay is related to affect in everyday life and to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Journal of Medical Internet Research

Identifying Topics for E-Cigarette User-Generated Contents: A Case Study From Multiple Social Media Platforms

Background: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is an emerging product with a rapid-growth market in recent years. Social media has become an important platform for information seeking and sharing. We aim to mine hidden topics from e-cigarette datasets collected from different social media platforms. Objective: This paper aims to gain a systematic understanding of the characteristics of various types of social media, which will provide deep insights into how consumers and policy makers effectively use social media to track e-cigarette-related content and adjust their decisions and policies. Methods: We collected data from Reddit (27,638 e-cigarette flavor-related posts from January 1, 2011, to June 30, 2015), JuiceDB (14,433 e-juice reviews from June 26, 2013 to November 12, 2015), and Twitter (13,356 “e-cig ban”-related tweets from January, 1, 2010 to June 30, 2015). Latent Dirichlet Allocation, a generative model for topic modeling, was used to analyze the topics from these data. Results: We found four types of topics across the platforms: (1) promotions, (2) flavor discussions, (3) experience sharing, and (4) regulation debates. Promotions included sales from vendors to users, as well as trades among users. A total of 10.72% (2,962/27,638) of the posts from Reddit were related to trading. Promotion links were found between social media platforms. Most of the links (87.30%) in JuiceDB were related to Reddit posts. JuiceDB and Reddit identified consistent flavor categories. E-cigarette vaping methods and features such as steeping, throat hit, and vapor production were broadly discussed both on Reddit and on JuiceDB. Reddit provided space for policy discussions and majority of the posts (60.7%) holding a negative attitude toward regulations, whereas Twitter was used to launch campaigns using certain hashtags. Our findings are based on data across different platforms. The topic distribution between Reddit and JuiceDB was significantly different (P<.001), which indicated that the user discussions focused on different perspectives across the platforms. Conclusions: This study examined Reddit, JuiceDB, and Twitter as social media data sources for e-cigarette research. These mined findings could be further used by other researchers and policy makers. By utilizing the automatic topic-modeling method, the proposed unified feedback model could be a useful tool for policy makers to comprehensively consider how to collect valuable feedback from social media. Journal of Medical Internet Research

The Role of Online Social Support in Supporting and Educating Parents of Young Children With Special Health Care Needs in the United States: A Scoping Review

Background: When parents of young children with special health care needs (CSHCN) receive their child’s diagnosis, they encounter information they may not understand, emotions they may not know how to cope with, and questions about their child’s immediate and long-term future that frequently lack answers. The challenge of health care providers is how to prepare parents for caring for their CSHCN, for coping with any resulting challenges, and for accessing the systems and services that can assist them. Objective: The purpose of this work was to review evidence of the information and support needs of parents of young CSHCN and to determine whether online social support can serve as an avenue for learning and empowerment for these parents. Methods: A scoping review identified the challenges, coping mechanisms, and support needs among parents of CSHCN, and the reach and effectiveness of digital technologies with these families and health care providers. We also conducted interviews with professionals serving parents of CSHCN. Results: The literature review and interviews suggested that parents best learn the information they need, and cope with the emotional challenges of raising a CSHCN, with support from other parents of CSHCN, and that young parents in recent years have most often been finding this parent-to-parent support through digital media, particularly social media, consistent with the theory of online social support. Evidence also shows that social media, particularly Facebook, is used by nearly all women aged 18-29 years across racial and socioeconomic lines in the United States. Conclusions: Parents of young CSHCN experience significant stress but gain understanding, receive support, and develop the ability to care for and be advocates for their child through parent-to-parent emotional and informational social support. Online social support is most effective with young adults of childbearing age, with social media and apps being the most useful within the theoretical framework of social support. This opens new opportunities to effectively educate and support parents of young CSHCN. Providers seeking to inform, educate, and support families of CSHCN should develop strategies to help parents find and use social support through digital resources to facilitate their emotional adjustment and practical abilities to care for and access services for their child.
Journal of Medical Internet Research

Knowledge Exchange and Discovery in the Age of Social Media: The Journey From Inception to Establishment of a Parent-Led Web-Based Research Advisory Community for Childhood Disability

Background: Efforts to involve parents and families in all aspects of research, from initiating the question through to dissemination and knowledge exchange, are increasing. While social media as a method for health communication has shown numerous benefits, including increasing accessibility, interactions with others, and access to health care information, little work has been published on the use of social media to enhance research partnerships. Objective: Our objective was to describe the development and evaluation of a Web-based research advisory community, hosted on Facebook and connecting a diverse group of parents of special needs children with researchers at CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research. The goal of this community is to work together and exchange knowledge in order to improve research and the lives of children and their families. Methods: The Web-based Parents Participating in Research (PPR) advisory community was a secret Facebook group launched in June 2014 and run by 2 parent moderators who worked in consultation with CanChild. We evaluated its success using Facebook statistics of engagement and activity (eg, number of posts, number of comments) between June 2014 and April 2015, and a Web-based survey of members. Results: The PPR community had 96 participants (2 parent moderators, 13 researchers, and 81 family members) as of April 1, 2015. Over 9 months, 432 original posts were made: 155 (35.9%) by moderators, 197 (45.6%) by parents, and 80 (18.5%) by researchers. Posts had a median of 3 likes (range 0-24) and 4 comments (range 0-113). Members, rather than moderators, generated 64% (277/432) of posts. The survey had a 51% response rate (49/96 members), with 40 (82%) being parent members and 9 (18%) being researchers. The initial purpose of the group was to be an advisory to CanChild, and 76% (28/37) of parents and all the researchers (9/9) identified having an impact on childhood disability research as their reason for participating. A total of 58% (23/40) of parents and 56% (5/9) of researchers indicated they felt safe to share sensitive or personal information. While researchers shared evidence-based resources and consulted with families to get guidance on specific issues, there was an unexpected benefit of gaining an understanding of what issues were important to families in their daily lives. Parents felt a sense of belonging to this community where they could share their stories but also wanted more researcher participation and clarity on the purpose of the group. Conclusions: The PPR community grew from inception to an established community with active engagement and knowledge exchange. Both parents and researchers described valuable experiences. Researchers should consider social media as a means of engaging families in all phases of research to ensure that research and its outcomes are meaningful to those who need it most.
Journal of Medical Internet Research

Exploring the Relationship Between Online Social Network Site Usage and the Impact on Quality of Life for Older and Younger Users: An Interaction Analysis

Background: Analyzing content generated by users of social network sites has been shown to be beneficial across a number of disciplines. Such analysis has revealed the precise behavior of users that details their distinct patterns of engagement. An issue is evident whereby without direct engagement with end users, the reasoning for anomalies can only be the subject of conjecture. Furthermore, the impact of engaging in social network sites on quality of life is an area which has received little attention. Of particular interest is the impact of online social networking on older users, which is a demographic that is specifically vulnerable to social isolation. A review of the literature reveals a lack of knowledge concerning the impact of these technologies on such users and even less is known regarding how this impact varies across different demographics. Objective: The objective of our study was to analyze user interactions and to survey the attitudes of social network users directly, capturing data in four key areas: (1) functional usage, (2) behavioral patterns, (3) technology, and (4) quality of life. Methods: An online survey was constructed, comprising 32 questions. Each question directly related to a research question. Respondents were recruited through a variety of methods including email campaigns, Facebook advertisements, and promotion from related organizations. Results: In total, data was collected from 919 users containing 446 younger and 473 older users. In comparison to younger users, a greater proportion of older users (289/473, 61.1% older vs 218/446, 48.9% younger) (P<.001) stated that Facebook had either a positive or huge impact on their quality of life. Furthermore, a greater percentage of older users strongly agreed that Facebook strengthened their relationship with other people (64/473, 13.5% older vs 40/446, 9.0%younger) (P=.02). In comparison to younger users, a greater proportion of older users had more positive emotions—classified as slightly better or very good—during their engagement with Facebook (186/473, 39.3% older vs 120/446, 26.9% younger) (P<.001). Conclusions: The results reveal that despite engaging at considerably lower rates with significantly fewer connections, older users gain a greater quality-of-life benefit. Results disclose how both cohorts vary in their use, interactions, and rationale for engaging with Facebook. Journal of Medical Internet Research