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A Characterisation of Social Media Users within the Primary Care System in Colombia and Predictors of their Social Media Use to Understand their Health

Citation

Bartels, Sophia M.; Martinez-Camblor, Pablo; Naslund, John A.; Suárez-Obando, Fernando; Torrey, William C.; Cubillos, Leonardo; Williams, Makeda J.; Castro, Sergio M.; Uribe-Restrepo, José M.; & Gómez-Restrepo, Carlos, et al. (Online ahead of print). A Characterisation of Social Media Users within the Primary Care System in Colombia and Predictors of their Social Media Use to Understand their Health. Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatria.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Social media use is growing in Latin America and is increasingly being used in innovative ways. This study sought to characterise the profile of social media users, among primary care patients in Colombia, and to assess predictors of their use of social media to search for health and mental health information (searching behaviour).
METHODS: As part of a larger scale-up study, we surveyed 1,580 patients across six primary care sites in Colombia about their social media use. We used chi-square and Student's t-tests to assess associations between demographic variables, social media use and searching behaviour, and a Chi-square Automatic Interaction Detector (CHAID) analysis to determine predictors of searching behaviour.
RESULTS: In total, 44.4% of respondents reported that they were social media users. Of these, 35.7% used social media to search for health-related information and 6.6% used it to search for mental health-related information. While the profile of individuals who used social media to search for health-related information was similar to that of general social media users (the highest use was among women living in urban areas), the presence of mental health symptoms was a more important predictor of using social media to search for mental health-related information than demographic variables. Individuals with moderate-severe symptoms of anxiety reported a significantly higher percentage of searching than individuals without symptoms (12.5% vs. 5.2%).
CONCLUSIONS: Given that some individuals with mental health disorders turn to social media to understand their illness, social media could be a successful medium for delivering mental health interventions in Colombia.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rcp.2020.12.010

Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type

Regular

Year Published

Online ahead of print

Journal Title

Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatria

Author(s)

Bartels, Sophia M.
Martinez-Camblor, Pablo
Naslund, John A.
Suárez-Obando, Fernando
Torrey, William C.
Cubillos, Leonardo
Williams, Makeda J.
Castro, Sergio M.
Uribe-Restrepo, José M.
Gómez-Restrepo, Carlos
Marsch, Lisa A.

Continent/Country

Colombia