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Sun Safe Partners Online

Sun Safe Partners Online

Findings from a pilot randomized controlled trial evaluating the feasibility and preliminary impact of an online couple-focused intervention to improve sun protection behavior were published recently in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The research team was led by Dr. Sharon Manne from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Collaborators from Michigan State University, the University of Connecticut, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Klein Buendel rounded out the research team.

At the time of the study, Sun Safe Partners Online was a web-based intervention with four individual-focused modules and four couple-focused modules. A total of 75 couples who reported suboptimal levels of sun protection were randomly assigned to receive either Sun Safe Partners Online or a generic sun safety education intervention. Participants were recruited through Facebook advertising, resulting in rapid enrollment and higher acceptance than was evident in a previous trial testing telephone and print intervention. Feasibility was assessed by enrollment, engagement, survey completion, module completion, and module satisfaction. Participants also completed pre/post surveys assessing sun protection, sun exposure on weekends, sunburn incidence, and attitudes toward sun protection. A full description of the methods, analyses, and effects of the study can be found in the publication.

Sun Safe Partners Online was found to be an innovative strategy for engaging adults in sun safety. The authors conclude that “a couple-focused intervention may hold promise as a way to improve sun protection behaviors beyond interventions focused solely on individuals by leveraging the concern, collaboration, and support among intimate partners and addressing relationship-based barriers to sun protection.”

This pilot research was supported by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Institutional funds.

Testing The Impact Of Social Media Messaging On COVID-19 Mitigation

Testing The Impact Of Social Media Messaging On COVID-19 Mitigation

Klein Buendel researchers and collaborators are launching a supplemental study to test the impact of social media messaging on COVID-19 mitigation, such as social distancing behaviors and vaccination, in a sample of mothers with daughters aged 14-17 years. The study, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute, will examine the impact of different sources frequently providing COVID-19 and vaccination information via Facebook.

The Internet, including social media, is a preferred channel for health information for many Americans (1,2). At their best, social media provide flexible, responsive, and accessible platforms for distributing information to the public from trusted voices such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health to promote needed health behaviors (3,4). Social media can improve information dissemination and personal relevance (8-12), create social support and collective action (13,14), and detect and respond to emerging issues and trends such as the COVID-19 response (5,6). At their worst, social media circulate inaccurate, misleading, unsupported, and harmful information (5,7), which may be especially detrimental in this age of filter bubbles separating Americans into like-minded groups (5).

Following a pretest survey, mothers will be randomly assigned to one of three Facebook private groups varying in types of source in the COVID-19 social media posts – government health agencies, near-peer parents and family members, or news media. Social media platforms are directing users to health organizations (6) but other sources may be credible with users, as well. The private groups prevent experimental contamination while delivering the social media feed. Mothers will complete a posttest at 3-, 6-, and 9-weeks post-randomization. The primary outcomes, assessed at pretest and all posttests, will be social distancing behaviors by self and daughter and intention to vaccinate self and daughter for COVID-19 (if a vaccine becomes available). Secondary outcomes are mother-daughter communication about COVID-19 mitigation behaviors and vaccination, theoretic antecedents of mitigation behaviors and vaccination, media literacy, and COVID-19 misinformation. Individual differences among mothers and other covariates will be measured at baseline or obtained from the parent trial. Engagement with the social media feed will be recorded.

This research is funded by an administrative supplement to a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel, and Dr. Sherry Pagoto, University of Connecticut, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborators include Dr. Katie Baker, Dr. Joel Hillhouse, and Jessica Bibeau from East Tennessee State University; Dr. Kim Henry from Colorado State University; and Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel.

References

1. Purcell K; Pew Research Center. The State Of Online Video. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/06/03/the-state-of-online-video/. Published June 3 2010. Accessed May 22, 2020.

2. Majority of Adults Look Online for Health Informaiton. FactTank: News in the Numbers. February 1, 2013. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/02/01/majority-of-adults-look-online-for-health-information/. Accessed May 22, 2020.

3. Veil SR, Buehner T, Palenchar MJ. A work-in-process literature review: incorporating social media in risk and crisis communication. J Contingencies Crisis Manage. 2011;19(2):110-122.

4. Breland JY, Quintiliani LM, Schneider KL, May CN, Pagoto S. Social media as a tool to increase the impact of public health research. Am J Public Health. 2017;107(12):1890-1891.

5. Sutton J. Health communication trolls and bots versus public health agencies’ trusted voices. Am J Public Health. 2018;108(10):1281-1282.

6. Merchant RM, Lurie N. Social media and emergency preparedness in response to novel coronavirus [published online ahead of print March 24, 2020]. JAMA. 2020 doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.4469

7. Broniatowski DA, Jamison AM, Qi S, et al. Weaponized health communication: Twitter bots and Russian trolls amplify the vaccine debate. Am J Public Health. 2018;108(10):1378-1384.

8. Valle CG, Tate DF, Mayer DK, Allicock M, Cai J. A randomized trial of a Facebook-based physical activity intervention for young adult cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2013;7(3):355-368.

9. Young SD, Cumberland WG, Lee SJ, Jaganath D, Szekeres G, Coates T. Social networking technologies as an emerging tool for HIV prevention: a cluster randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(5):318-324.

10. Pagoto S, Baker K, Griffith J, et al. Engaging moms on teen indoor tanning through social media: protocol of a randomized controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols. 2016;5:e228. doi: 10.2196/resprot.6624. PMCID: PMC5147712

11. Witte K. Putting the fear back in fear appeals: the extended parallel process model. Communication Monographs. 1992;59:329-349.

12. Rogers RW. A Protection Motivation Theory of fear appeals and attitude change1. J Psychol. 1975;91(1):93-114. doi: 10.1080/00223980.1975.9915803

13. Rogers RW. Cognitive and physiological processes in fear appeals and attitude change: a revised theory of protection motivation. In: Cacioppo, J, Petty, R, eds. Social Psychophysiology. New York, NY: Guilford Press; 1983:153-176.

14. Woodall GW, Starling R, Buller DB, Kong A, Wheeler C. Beta-test and randomized trial results for GoHealthyGirls: a website for HPV vaccine adoption. 29th Meeting of the International Papillomavirus Conference; August 20-25; Seattle, Washington.

HPV VACCINATION RATES IN A TRIAL TESTING A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN WITH MOTHERS OF TEENAGE DAUGHTERS

HPV VACCINATION RATES IN A TRIAL TESTING A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN WITH MOTHERS OF TEENAGE DAUGHTERS

Dr. David Buller, Director of Research from Klein Buendel, presented findings from the Health Chat Project at the virtual 33rd International Papillomavirus Conference & Basic Science, Clinical and Public Health Workshops (IPVC), July 20-24, 2020.

Parental decisions on HPV vaccine uptake in the United States are influenced by information and misinformation about the vaccine in social media. Mothers’ reports on vaccination of their adolescent daughters were examined in an evaluation of a social media adolescent health campaign.

For this intervention, 881 mothers from 34 states were recruited into a randomized controlled trial evaluating a social media adolescent health campaign. Eligibility criteria included having a daughter aged 14-17, in state without a complete ban on indoor tanning by minors, using a Facebook account one or more times a week, completing the baseline survey, and joining the Facebook group. The campaign included didactic and narrative posts some of which promoted HPV vaccination, such as the need for vaccine, percent of adolescents vaccinated, and how HPV vaccines are decreasing infection rates. It was delivered through two Facebook private groups differing on inclusion of indoor tanning or prescription drug mis-use posts .

At baseline, nearly two-thirds of mothers reported that their daughters had been vaccinated for HPV. HPV vaccine uptake increased during the 12-month social media campaign. At the 12-month posttest, nearly 8% more mothers reported that daughters had been vaccinated for HPV. The increase appeared to be largest in completion of the multi-dose series. Uptake increased among older and more educated mothers and those with a family history of skin cancer. Mothers’ reports of HPV vaccine uptake were corroborated by daughters. Effective strategies are needed in social media to promote HPV vaccines and counter misinformation about and resistance to them.

This research is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel, and Dr. Sherry Pagoto, University of Connecticut, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborators include Jessica Oleski from the University of Connecticut, Dr. Katie Baker and Dr. Joel Hillhouse from East Tennessee State University, Dr. Kim Henry from Colorado State University, and Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel.

Mothers’ Support for Laws Restricting Indoor Tanning by Minors

Mothers’ Support for Laws Restricting Indoor Tanning by Minors

The Health Chat research team published some findings related to indoor tanning from their Facebook-delivered cancer risk reduction intervention and randomized trial with mothers and teen daughters as an abstract in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. The research team would have presented the work at the 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in San Francisco, had the conference been held as planned.

Indoor tanning is associated with increased risk for melanoma, especially in young women. Several states restrict indoor tanning by minors or require parental permission. The authors of this abstract hypothesize that mothers’ awareness of state laws related to indoor tanning by youth may reduce their permissiveness for daughters to use tanning facilities.

A total of 777 mothers (and their daughters) from 34 states that do not ban indoor tanning participated in the trial. Less than 20% of mothers (and fewer daughters) accurately reported whether their state has an age restriction or parental permission requirement for minors to indoor tan. More than 50% of the mothers supported banning indoor tanning by minors. However, the mothers reported varying levels of advocacy that they would be willing to demonstrate related to enacting state-level policy to restrict indoor tanning by minors (e.g., sign a petition, contact an elected representative, testify to a state legislative committee). 

The authors conclude that: “Efforts to inform mothers and daughters may be needed to create a norm against indoor tanning, to prevent moms from permitting indoor tanning by daughters, and to build support for further restrictions on minors’ access.”

This research is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel, and Dr. Sherry Pagoto, University of Connecticut, Multiple Principal Investigators). Co-authors include Dr. Katie Baker, Dr. Joel Hillhouse, and Jessica Bibeau from East Tennessee State University; Dr. Kim Henry from Colorado State University; and Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel.

Health Misinformation in Participant Comments in a Facebook-Delivered Cancer Risk Reduction Intervention

Health Misinformation in Participant Comments in a Facebook-Delivered Cancer Risk Reduction Intervention

Little is known about how how participants in a health intervention share health misinformation via social media platforms. The Health Chat research team published insights from their Facebook-delivered cancer risk reduction intervention and randomized trial with mothers and teen daughters as an abstract for the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM). The lead author, Kelsey Arroyo, from the University of Connecticut, would have presented the work at the 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in San Francisco, had the conference been held as planned.

For this study, the researchers examined 175 comments made to 42 randomly-selected Facebook posts on different health topics such as substance use, indoor tanning, vaccines, mental health by study participants. The Facebook groups were moderated by health professionals. The participant comments were coded as sharing an opinion, a personal experience, an intention, or information. Comments were analyzed for whether misinformation was conveyed. According to the authors, “misinformation was defined as a fact, belief, opinion, or action that is not supported by scientific evidence.”

Analysis showed that more than three-quarters of comments shared a personal experience. Overall, less than one-fifth of the comments conveyed misinformation, and more than half of the misinformation was conveyed in comments that shared a personal experience.

This research is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel, and Dr. Sherry Pagoto, University of Connecticut, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborators and co-authors on the SBM abstract include Kelsey Arroyo, Jared Goetz, and Dr. Molly Waring from the University of Connecticut; Dr. Katie Baker and Dr. Joel Hillhouse from East Tennessee State University; Dr. Kim Henry from Colorado State University; Dr. Jerod Stapleton formerly from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Julia Berteletti and Dr. Barbara Walkosz from Klein Buendel.

Insights About HPV Vaccination in the United States from Mothers on Facebook

Insights About HPV Vaccination in the United States from Mothers on Facebook

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common sexually transmitted infection is the human papillomavirus (HPV) but only about half of girls and less than 40% of boys in the United States have received all the recommended doses of the HPV vaccine (1). In a recent e-publication in Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, Klein Buendel Senior Scientists, Dr. David Buller and Barbara Walkosz, and Project Manager, Julia Berteletti, and coauthors provide insights on HPV vaccination in the United States from mothers’ comments on Facebook posts in a randomized trial. The study evaluated responses from mothers of teenage girls living in various U.S. states in relation to HPV vaccine health and related information posted to private groups on Facebook.

A large number of mothers of 14-17-year-old girls joined private groups on Facebook where a variety of health information relevant to adolescent girls was posted daily. Topics included indoor tanning, mother-daughter communication, and HPV vaccinations. Posts discussing HPV vaccination were posted in each of the groups and ranged from didactic messages (e.g., the need for adolescent vaccines, how well HPV vaccines are working to decrease infection rate, number of parents choosing to vaccinate children against HPV, etc.) to narrative posts about women who have died from cervical cancer. Posts also included a link to an article, video, photograph, or an infographic.

Comments by participants were generally more favorable toward HPV vaccination than unfavorable. Mothers’ comments are further described in the journal article.

A strength of the analyses identifying participant pre-existing characteristics before posting the HPV messages on Facebook, therefore being able to show that HPV vaccination was a predictor of commenting behavior with mothers who had not vaccinated their daughters as the unfavorable commenters. It is noted that many of the mothers who did not comment had daughters that were vaccinated for HPV. A possible weakness of the study was that the sample of mothers may have limited generalizability. Authors conclude by stating that the fact that many mothers who had daughters vaccinated against HPV did not comment on the HPV posts could contribute to the idea that opposition to the HPV vaccine is larger than it is in actuality. Authors also suggest that U.S. public health agencies and practitioners need to find ways to dispel myths and provide information on vaccine safety and concerns, including that many mothers choose to vaccinate their daughters against HPV.

This research was funded by a grant to Klein Buendel from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator). Additional authors include Dr. Sherry Pagoto and Jessica Bibeau from University of Connecticut, Dr. Katie Baker and Dr. Joel Hillhouse from East Tennessee State University, and Dr. Kimberly Henry from Colorado state University.

References

  1. Sexually transmitted disease surveillance 2017: other STDs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats17/other.htm#hpv. Accessed March 28, 2019.
INSIGHTS ON HPV VACCINATION FROM MOTHERS’ COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK POSTS IN A RANDOMIZED TRIAL

INSIGHTS ON HPV VACCINATION FROM MOTHERS’ COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK POSTS IN A RANDOMIZED TRIAL

HPV vaccine uptake among adolescent girls in the United States remains below the national goal of 80%. Parent decisions to vaccinate daughters can be impeded by confusion, uncertainty, and misinformation about the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel (KB) presented an analysis of mothers’ beliefs about vaccinating their adolescent daughters for HPV at the Eurogin International Multidisciplinary HPV Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, December 2-5, 2018.

Mothers with adolescent daughters from 34 states (n=880) were recruited to participate in a randomized controlled trial evaluating a social media campaign on adolescent health. The mothers’ beliefs were expressed in comments to posts on HPV vaccination in a social media campaign on adolescent health. Participants were recruited through Qualtrics survey panels or local efforts at the Tennessee study site. Eligibility criteria were: having a daughter aged 14-17, living in one of 34 states without a complete ban on indoor tanning for minors, using a Facebook account 1+ times a week, being able to read English, consenting to participate, completing the baseline survey, and willing to join the Facebook group. The campaign, implemented through Facebook private groups, included posts on HPV vaccination, as one of seven general health topics. The experimental manipulation varied posts on indoor tanning versus prescription drug abuse prevention. Posts on HPV vaccination and reactions and comments from mothers were extracted.

Mothers had a mean age of 43.1 years; 6.5% were Hispanic and 86.6% white; and 63.1% reported that their daughter had been vaccinated for HPV (17.8% receiving two shots and 31.5% three shots). HPV vaccination posts received on average 1.3 reactions and 3.3 comments from mothers. Comments often formed a dialogue among mothers. More than half of the comments (52.8%) were favorable, indicating that the daughter had been vaccinated and HPV vaccination reduced mothers’ anxiety, HPV infection rates, and related disease risk. However, 45.3% were unfavorable, citing safety concerns, lack of efficacy, unknown long-term consequences, inappropriate age for the vaccine, apprehension by other mothers, fears of vaccine tampering, lack of physician support, and sexual activity issues (for example, plans to wait until daughter becomes sexually active or using vaccine to guard against unprotected sex). Some commented, mostly favorably, on the need to vaccinate boys.

Facebook comments indicated both support for and resistance to HPV vaccination by mothers in the United States. Reasons for not vaccinating girls were similar to barriers expressed in other research and reflected negative media coverage of HPV vaccination. Effective strategies are needed in social media to counter misinformation on and resistance to HPV vaccines.

This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Dr.Barbara Walkosz and Julia Berteletti from KB; Dr. Sherry Pagoto and Jessica Oleski from the University of Connecticut, and Dr. Katie Baker from East Tennessee State University.

Eurogin is one of the most important conferences in the world on HPV infection and related cancers. The international gathering examines public health, health services, screening, and prevention of HPV-induced cancers.