Social Networking Sites for Peer-Driven Health Communication: Diabetes-Related Communities in Google+

Yuhei Mogi, Tasnima Abedin, Salim Ahmed, Gurleen Gill, Mohammad Al Mamun, Hideyuki Kanda, Yoshihiro Ishikawa, Tanvir C. Turin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Google+ is one of the most actively used Social Networking Sites in the world. The aim of our study is to characterize the Google+ communities related to diabetes and identify the factors associated with the activity level of these communities. Methods: We conducted a systematic search for diabetes-related Google+ communities. We categorized the principal objective of eligible communities into six themes: (1) awareness creation, (2) providing support and sharing experience, (3) product or service promotion, (4) diet-related topics, (5) exercise-related topics, and (6) others. The themes for the posts were: (1) asking for information, (2) providing information, (3) expressing emotion, and (4) advertisement. Results: We included 145 Google+ communities and 378 posts for analysis. Majority (80.0%) of the communities were focused on “General Diabetics”, 11.8% were focused on “Type 1 diabetes”, 6.2% were focused on “Type 2 diabetes”, and 2.1% were focused on “Gestational diabetes”. Majority of the communities (35.2%) had the principal objective “Provide support and share experience”. Regarding the user-generated posts, 29.6% posts had at least one “+” (“+” is similar to “like” in Facebook), 17.7% posts had comments, and 89.2% posts had external links. Majority of the posts (69.6%) were focused on “General diabetes”, 16.9% were focused on “Type 1 diabetes”, 12.4% were focused on “Type 2 diabetes” and 1.15 were focused on “gestational diabetes”. The top two themes of the posts were “Providing information” (72.8%) and “Advertisement” (31.5%). Conclusion: Our study revealed that major activity of diabetes-related Google+ communities was related to providing support and information. However, the accuracy and effectiveness of the information in the communities need to be scrutinized further from clinical perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-327
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetology International
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Google+
  • Health communication
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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