What Type of Engagement Predicts Success in a Facebook Weight Loss Group?

Date
2018-01-03
Authors
Pagoto, Sherry
Waring, Molly
Jake-Schoffman, Danielle
Goetz, Jared
Michaels, Zachary
Oleski, Jessica
DiVito, Joseph
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Abstract
Studies of social media-delivered behavioral interventions generally reveal that engagement, as defined as total number of posts, is associated with better outcomes. Little is known about whether the type of engagement, volume of content posted, or timing of engagement matters. In the present study, we analyzed the content, volume, and timing of participant posts in a Facebook weight loss intervention. Content was analyzed via thematic analyses. Volume was defined as total characters posted. We explored types of posts and for each, how frequency and volume overall, and in first half and second half of intervention were related to weight loss at end of treatment. Findings revealed that reporting a healthy choice was the most common type of post. The frequency and volume of most types of posts except negative posts predicted weight loss, but those occurring in second half of intervention were more strongly related to weight loss.
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Keywords
Social Media and Healthcare Technology, obesity, patient community, social media, social networking
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