Publication Date

4-1-2015

Document Type

Article

Department

Public Health and Recreation

Disciplines

Public Health | Social Media

Publication Title

Hawai'i Journal of Medicine & Public Health

Abstract

Facebook, a social network site, has been widely used among young adults. However, its potential to be used as a health promotion medium has not been fully examined. This study explored Facebook's potential for sharing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine information among female college students in Hawai‘i. Culturally tailored flyers and handouts were developed and distributed at one large university in Hawai‘i to recruit female college students between the age of 18 and 26 having an active Facebook account. Three focus group meetings were conducted to gather student perspectives about how information about HPV vaccine may be best shared via Facebook. We found that students believed Facebook is a good awareness tool but they needed more knowledge about the HPV vaccine to feel comfortable sharing the information. Participants preferred forwarding information to chatting about HPV. Some participants expressed concern that their Facebook friends would think the HPV vaccine information they forwarded on Facebook is spam. Participants suggested prefacing the posted HPV vaccine information with a personal note in their own words to make the message more interesting and relevant to their Facebook friends. Future interventions using Facebook to promote HPV vaccine could provide students with HPV vaccine information from credible sources and ask students to attach personal testimonials or endorsements while forwarding the information on Facebook.

Keywords

Health promotion, HPV vaccine, Facebook

Comments

This is the Version of Record and can also be read online here.

This article is also freely available on PubMed Central.

This article was originally published in the Hawai'i Journal of Health & Social Welfare, the former title of the Hawai'i Journal of Medicine & Public Health.

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