Communication patterns in cancer-related Facebook pages
New research reveals how health professionals can use Facebook to communicate effectively about prevention, risk factors, and early diagnosis of cancer.
A new article published in open access journal Cogent Social Sciences, examines over a thousand Facebook posts from cancer related pages in Brazil. The article reveals how health professionals can use social media to communicate effectively about prevention, risk factors, healthy living and early diagnosis.
The study, from researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, is essential reading for public health professionals and all those with an interest in education about the risk factors for cancer. It found that certain kinds of posts created the most engagement on Facebook.
'We looked at three Facebook pages that were very different,' said Priscila Biancovilli, a researcher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and one of the authors of the paper, 'in two out of the three pages the type of post that created the most engagement was not the most frequent. This shows that the potential of each page to inform the public about cancer prevention was underutilized.'
With over 1.65 billion people worldwide accessing Facebook at least once a month, understanding communication patterns that have the potential to generate greater public engagement to prevent disease is clearly a vital policy area.
The full study is freely available to read in Cogent Social Sciences.