Translational Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 566–576 | Cite as

Implications of social media use on health information technology engagement: Data from HINTS 4 cycle 3

  • Devlon N. JacksonEmail author
  • Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou
  • Kisha I. Coa
  • April Oh
  • Bradford Hesse
Original Research


Little is known about the association between Internet/social media use and health information technology (HIT) engagement. This study examines patterns of social media use and HIT engagement in the U.S.A. using data from the 2013 Health Information National Trends Survey (N = 3,164). Specifically, predictors of two HIT activities (i.e., communicating with a healthcare provider using the Internet or email and tracking personal health information electronically) are examined. Persons who were females, higher education, non-Hispanic others, having a regular healthcare provider, and ages 35–44 were more likely to participate in HIT activities. After controlling for sociodemographics and health correlates, social media use was significantly associated with HIT engagement. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to systematically examine the use and relationships across multiple types of health-related online media.


Internet access Social media use Health information technology engagement Communication inequalities 



We would like to dedicate this project to Dr. Abby Prestin, who passed away September 3, 2014. Dr. Prestin’s contribution to the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) enabled this analysis and she is dearly missed.


Conflict of interest

Devlon N. Jackson has no conflict of interest to report.

The findings reported within this manuscript have not been previously published and this manuscript is not being simultaneously submitted elsewhere. It was presented at the 2015 DC Health Communication Conference, April 2015.

The data used to conduct this research was a publicly accessible secondary data set and the authors of this manuscript agree to allow the journal to review the data if requested.

The first author of this manuscript did not receive any funding support to conduct this research. The National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and funding partner, Westat, provided funding support for the development of this publicly accessible secondary data set.

The research study for this manuscript used a publicly accessible secondary data set of human subjects ages 18 years of age and older, did not involve any animals, formal consent was not required as well.

IRB approval was not required to conduct this secondary data analysis using this publicly accessible data set by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute.


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Copyright information

© Society of Behavioral Medicine (outside the US) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Devlon N. Jackson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou
    • 1
  • Kisha I. Coa
    • 1
  • April Oh
    • 1
  • Bradford Hesse
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cancer Control and Population SciencesNational Cancer InstituteRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Maryland Center for Health EquityUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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