“My YAP Family”: Analysis of a Facebook Group for Young Adults Living with HIV
- 675 Downloads
Little research exists regarding the use of social networking sites, like Facebook, for improving patient well-being. The aim of this study was to evaluate a private Facebook group established for members of an HIV clinic’s young adult program. This study employed directed content analysis to examine the types and frequencies of interactions observable in the 3,838 posts and comments that appeared on the Facebook group page between March 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012. Analysis revealed that a large percentage (41.7 %) of the content was classified as “administrative/engagement in group” and functioned to enhance the operations of the program as a whole. Additionally, positive interactions were frequently observed, especially socializing (24.8 %), banter (20.2 %), and offers of social support (15.1 %). Emotional support was the most frequent type of support requested, while esteem support was the most commonly provided form of support. The results of this study demonstrate that a Facebook group can be a means of providing patients with social support and positive social interaction and can improve services for young adults with HIV.
KeywordsSocial support HIV Adolescent health Social media
The authors wish to thank Joyce Park, Zachariah Hennessey, Jason Euren, Drs. Marita Murrman and Mari Millery, and all the members of the Young Adult Program who were part of this study.
- 1.Cohen S, Gray KM, Hall HI, et al. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 US dependent areas—2010. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2012. Report No.: 3A. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/reports/surveillance/2010/surveillance_report_vol_17_no_3.html. Accessed 7 Feb 2014.
- 2.Cohen S, Hu X, Shah D et al. Diagnosis of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2010. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/surveillance/resources/reports/2010report/index.htm. Accessed 7 Feb 2014.
- 3.Mitsch A, Hu X, Harrison KM, Durant T. Trends in HIV/AIDS diagnoses among men who have sex with men—33 States, 2001–2006. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2008. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5725a2.htm. Accessed 7 Feb 2014.
- 10.Wiener LS, Battles HB. Untangling the web: a close look at diagnosis disclosure among HIV-infected adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2006;38(3):307–9.Google Scholar
- 12.Vyavaharkar M, Moneyham L, Corwin S, Saunders R, Annang L, Tavakoli A. Relationships between stigma, social support, and depression in HIV-infected African American women living in the rural Southeastern United States. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2010;21(2):144–52.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 25.Hether HJ. Social media and health: social support and social capital on pregnancy-related social networking sites, PhD Thesis. Los Angeles, CA: University of Southern California; 2009. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll127/id/275595.
- 26.Burbary K. Facebook Demographics Revisited—2011 Statistics. Charlottesville, VA: Social Media Today LLC; 2011. http://socialmediatoday.com/node/276356.
- 28.Hall M. Facebook. In: Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc; 2014. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1366111/Facebook.
- 36.Groenewald T. Memos and Memoing. In: Given LM, editor. The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.; 2008.Google Scholar
- 47.Rosenberg M, McCullough BC. Mattering: inferred significance and mental health among adolescents. Res Community Ment Health. 1979;2:163–82.Google Scholar
- 50.Yeager J. A content analysis of an online support group for survivors of sexual violence. In: Smedberg Å, editor. E-Health Communities and Online Self-Help Groups: applications and usage. Hershey, PA: IGI Global; 2011. p. 85–106.Google Scholar
- 53.AIDS Alliance for Children Youth & Families. Finding HIV-positive youth and bringing them into care. Washington, DC: Positive Outcomes Inc.; 2005. http://www.aids-alliance.org/resources/publications/youthcasefinding-english.pdf. Accessed 14 Nov, 2013.
- 54.Walther J, Boyd S. Attraction to computer-mediated social support. In: Lin CA, Atkin D, editors. Communication technology and society: audience adoption and uses. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press; 2002. p. 153–88.Google Scholar
- 55.Breeding M. Librarians face online social networks. Comput libr. 2007;27(8):30.Google Scholar