Efficiency of Technology in Creating Social Networks for Mobilizing and Improving the Health of a Community

Efficiency of Technology in Creating Social Networks for Mobilizing and Improving the Health of a Community

Florence F. Folami (Millikin University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6162-2.ch007
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Abstract

A great deal of focus has been placed upon improving population health and providing for the well-being of communities across the nation. The advances of new media skills are vital to creating social networks for mobilizing and improving the health of a community. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the efficiency of Facebook in creating social networks to mobilize community improvement. This chapter discusses social networking group reach rates and the effectiveness of social networking in delivering health messages and improving community health knowledge. An Internet scan of a Facebook Support Group using quantitative outcomes is done. The group was followed for 2 years to track the following metric: weekly frequency of posting, the average number of followers, response time, and group engagement. Overall, this study shows positive outcomes in terms of reach, response time, and group engagement.
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Review Of The Literature

A systematic review of the literature was conducted using an appropriate search approach and inclusion criteria of public health communications and the use of social media delivering health messages. Tian, Brimmer, Lin, Tumpey, and Reeves (2009) conducted a study on information seeking and social support in online health communities. They concluded that it is the information seeking effectiveness rather than the social support which affects patient's perceived empathy in online health communities. The online health information need to focus more on developing tools that will make information seeking more effective and efficient.

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