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The Role of Social Network Technologies in Online Health Promotion: A Narrative Review of Theoretical and Empirical Factors Influencing Intervention Effectiveness

Overview of attention for article published in Journal of Medical Internet Research, June 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (86th percentile)

Mentioned by

blogs
1 blog
twitter
63 tweeters
facebook
5 Facebook pages
googleplus
1 Google+ user

Citations

dimensions_citation
70 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
254 Mendeley
Title
The Role of Social Network Technologies in Online Health Promotion: A Narrative Review of Theoretical and Empirical Factors Influencing Intervention Effectiveness
Published in
Journal of Medical Internet Research, June 2015
DOI 10.2196/jmir.3662
Pubmed ID
Authors

Panos Balatsoukas, Catriona M Kennedy, Iain Buchan, John Powell, John Ainsworth

Abstract

Social network technologies have become part of health education and wider health promotion-either by design or happenstance. Social support, peer pressure, and information sharing in online communities may affect health behaviors. If there are positive and sustained effects, then social network technologies could increase the effectiveness and efficiency of many public health campaigns. Social media alone, however, may be insufficient to promote health. Furthermore, there may be unintended and potentially harmful consequences of inaccurate or misleading health information. Given these uncertainties, there is a need to understand and synthesize the evidence base for the use of online social networking as part of health promoting interventions to inform future research and practice. Our aim was to review the research on the integration of expert-led health promotion interventions with online social networking in order to determine the extent to which the complementary benefits of each are understood and used. We asked, in particular, (1) How is effectiveness being measured and what are the specific problems in effecting health behavior change?, and (2) To what extent is the designated role of social networking grounded in theory? The narrative synthesis approach to literature review was used to analyze the existing evidence. We searched the indexed scientific literature using keywords associated with health promotion and social networking. The papers included were only those making substantial study of both social networking and health promotion-either reporting the results of the intervention or detailing evidence-based plans. General papers about social networking and health were not included. The search identified 162 potentially relevant documents after review of titles and abstracts. Of these, 42 satisfied the inclusion criteria after full-text review. Six studies described randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effectiveness of online social networking within health promotion interventions. Most of the trials investigated the value of a "social networking condition" in general and did not identify specific features that might play a role in effectiveness. Issues about the usability and level of uptake of interventions were more common among pilot studies, while observational studies showed positive evidence about the role of social support. A total of 20 papers showed the use of theory in the design of interventions, but authors evaluated effectiveness in only 10 papers. More research is needed in this area to understand the actual effect of social network technologies on health promotion. More RCTs of greater length need to be conducted taking into account contextual factors such as patient characteristics and types of a social network technology. Also, more evidence is needed regarding the actual usability of online social networking and how different interface design elements may help or hinder behavior change and engagement. Moreover, it is crucial to investigate further the effect of theory on the effectiveness of this type of technology for health promotion. Research is needed linking theoretical grounding with observation and analysis of health promotion in online networks.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 63 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 254 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 3 1%
Canada 2 <1%
United Kingdom 2 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Ireland 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Unknown 242 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 47 19%
Student > Ph. D. Student 44 17%
Researcher 31 12%
Unspecified 30 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 26 10%
Other 76 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 58 23%
Social Sciences 45 18%
Unspecified 42 17%
Nursing and Health Professions 34 13%
Computer Science 23 9%
Other 52 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 48. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 January 2016.
All research outputs
#294,905
of 12,172,538 outputs
Outputs from Journal of Medical Internet Research
#282
of 2,583 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#7,654
of 234,323 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Journal of Medical Internet Research
#18
of 130 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,172,538 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,583 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.2. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 234,323 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 130 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.