Social Media and Health

Use of social media platforms and data to disseminate health information and to understand and improve individual and population health behaviors and outcomes.

Protecting Clinical Trial Participants and Study Integrity in the Age of Social Media

Oct. 24, 2018


Social media communication among clinical trial participants has the potential to pose risks to their safety and to trial integrity. The Social Media ADEPT framework may help mitigate that potential by encouraging investigators and patient partners to work together to Assess social media risks, Design studies to minimize those risks, Educate participants, Preempt problems, and Take additional steps as needed, such as intervening when problems arise.

Feasibility and Effects of Digital Interventions to Support People in Recovery From Substance Use Disorders: Systematic Review

Sep. 5, 2018

Sverre Nesvåg and James R. McKay 

Abstract [from journal]

Background: The development and evaluation of digital interventions aimed at preventing or treating substance use–related problems and disorders is a rapidly growing field. Previous reviews of such interventions reveal a large and complex picture with regard to targeted users, use, and efficacy.

Objective: The objective of this review was to investigate the feasibility and effects of interventions developed specifically for digital platforms. These interventions are focused on supporting people in recovery from...

Use of Web-Based Parent-Adolescent Health Promotion Program among Puerto Ricans

Aug. 9, 2018

Antonia M. Villarruel, Nelson Varas-Díaz, Alexandra Hanlon, Elba Betancourt, Alicia J. Lozano, Lucia DiNapoli

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Despite positive attitudes of Latinos using the Internet and the increased availability of health information resources, few studies have been conducted that examine actual use and barriers to web-based health information.

Objective: To examine whether select sociodemographic factors and technology factors (e.g., computer and Internet access) predicted use of a web-based, parent–adolescent sexual communication program or a physical activity program, entitled Cuídalos, among Puerto Rican parents.


Social Incentives and Gamification to Promote Weight Loss: The LOSE IT Randomized, Controlled Trial

Jul. 16, 2018

Gregory W. Kurtzman, Susan C. Day, Dylan S. Small, Marta Lynch, Jingsan Zhu, Wenli Wang, Charles A. L. Rareshide, Mitesh S. Patel


Background: Social networks influence obesity patterns, but interventions to leverage social incentives to promote weight loss have not been well evaluated.

Objective: To test the effectiveness of gamification interventions designed using insights from behavioral economics to enhance social incentives to promote weight loss.

Design: The Leveraging Our Social Experiences and Incentives Trial (LOSE IT


Internet and Social Media Access Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness: Mixed-Methods Study

Jun. 6, 2018

Lauren A. Houdek VonHoltz, Rosemary Frasso, Jesse M. Golinkoff, Alicia J. Lozano, Alexandra Hanlon, Nadia Dowshen

ABSTRACT [from journal]

Background: Youth experiencing homelessness are at a risk for a variety of adverse outcomes. Given the widespread use of the internet and social media, these new technologies may be used to address their needs and for outreach purposes. However, little is known about how this group uses these resources.

Objective: This study investigated how homeless adolescents use these technologies for general and health-related purposes, whether the scope of their use changes with housing status, and...