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.
- Health communication
- Social media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism