Using Online Social Networks for Increasing Health Literacy on Oral Health

Using Online Social Networks for Increasing Health Literacy on Oral Health

Ziauddin Ahmed (Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences, Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh), Suptendra Nath Sarbadhikari (Department of Health Informatics, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences, Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh), Karimon Nesha (Department of Disaster Management, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, India), Karishma Sharmin Haque (Department of Health Informatics, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences, Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh), Khurshida Khanom (Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences, Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh) and Kazi Rumana Ahmed (Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences, Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/ijudh.2013040106
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Abstract

A descriptive study was conducted among the members of Oral Health group on a social media network (Facebook) through the Internet. The objective of this study was to explore online interactions on oral health among the Internet users. The study was divided into two parts. First part included content analysis of Oral Health group interactions during the period of July 2011 to April 2012 and second part included online survey findings. All the postings and their discussions in “Oral Health” group were collected and analyzed by using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Total 427 group members were included, 65.84% members were recruited by administrator (admin) and 34.16% by other members of Oral Health group. Among the group members 110 (23%) members were actively participating in group interactions. A total 384 interactive messages were exchanged between the members on 194 discrete topics were discussed (in average 2 messages exchanged per topic). The flow of group interactions mostly occurred between dental professional to dental professional 78%, followed by general to general 3%, dental professional to general 9%, general to dental professional 10%. Opinion of survey respondents about the oral health group online interactions were found as appreciative (52%), “modern technology of learning is useful”(34%), “improves clinical knowledge of professionals”(26%), “improves oral hygiene knowledge and practice”(22%), and “helps to solve oral health problems”(38%). Online oral health group appears to be an effective platform for sharing information, experiences and advice on oral health among the Internet users.
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Methodology

This was a descriptive study including a retrospective review of qualitative and quantitative data obtained from the posts on the discussion forum along with a survey involving the participants. All the posts and related discussions between 1stJuly 2011 and30thApril 2012 in “Oral Health” Facebook groupwall were collected manually and the interactions were studiedand analyzed by using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Further an online anonymous survey was conducted (using SurveyMonkey) using a semi-structured questionnaire regarding oral healthamong the group members during March, 2012. The web link of Survey monkey questionnaire form was posted to Facebook oral health group wall and members were requested to respond. For Quantitative method, data were analyzed with SPSS version-15. The textual interactions in the group were subjected to content analysis. The flows of interactions were categorized as between general people to general people, general people to dental professionals, dental professionals to dental professionals, dental professionals to general people.Ethical approval was obtained from the Institute Review Board of Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences (BIHS). The participants were administered informed consent for voluntary participation, maintaining confidentiality and allowing them to withdraw themselves at any stage of the study. After cleaning and checking for missing variables, data were coded, compiled and analyzed. Some data were further processed to extract the themes from the online interaction in the Facebook oral health group. The findings obtained are presented in Figure 1: Direction of flow of discussions, Topic of discussions, Media preferred for postings, Respondents’ opinion about oral health group.

Figure 1.

Conceptual framework

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