The use of social media for health promotion in Hispanic populations: A scoping systematic review
BACKGROUND: The Internet is an increasingly popular platform for public health interventions due to its distinct ability to communicate with, engage, and educate communities. Given the widespread use of the Internet, these interventions could be a means of equalizing access to information to address health disparities in minority populations, such as Hispanics. Hispanics are disproportionately affected by poor health outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Although underserved and underrepresented, Hispanics are among the leading users of social media in the United States. Previous reviews have examined the use of social media in public health efforts, but, to our knowledge, none have focused on the Hispanic population. OBJECTIVE: To conduct a scoping systematic review of the published literature to capture the ways social media has been used in health interventions aimed at Hispanic populations and identify gaps in existing knowledge to provide recommendations for future research. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of the literature related to social media, public health, and Hispanics using the PubMed, PsycINFO, and EMBASE databases to locate peer-reviewed studies published between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2015. Each article was reviewed for the following inclusion criteria: social media as a main component of study methodology or content; public health topic; majority Hispanic/Latino study population; English or Spanish language; and original research study. Relevant data were extracted from articles meeting inclusion criteria including publication year, location, study design, social media platform, use of social media, target population, and public health topic. RESULTS: Of the 267 articles retrieved, a total of 27 unique articles met inclusion criteria. All were published in 2012 or later. The most common study design was a cross-sectional survey, which was featured in 10 of the 27 (37%) articles. All articles used social media for at least one of the following three purposes: recruiting study participants (14 of 27, 52%), promoting health education (12 of 27, 44%), and/or describing social media users (12 of 27, 44%). All but one article used multiple social media platforms, though Facebook was by far the most popular appearing in 24 of the 27 (89%). A diverse array of Hispanic populations was targeted, and health topics featured. Of these, the most highly represented were articles on sexual health directed toward Latino men who have sex with men (12 of 27, 44%). Healthy eating and active living received the second greatest focus (4 of 27, 15%). CONCLUSIONS: Social media offers a potential accessible venue for health interventions aimed at Hispanics, a group at disproportionate risk for poor health outcomes. To date, most publications are descriptive in nature, with few indicating specific interventions and associated outcomes to improve health.
Hudnut-Beumler J, Po'e E, Barkin S.
- Men who have sex with men
- Ethnoracial communities