The association between social media use for health related information and compliance with breast and cervical cancer screenings.

Academic Article


  • There is a need to investigate the impact of social media use on patient compliance with important health screenings due to the inconsistency of research findings on the effect of using social media on cervical cancer screenings. This study assessed associations between social media use and adherence in women at risk for breast and cervical cancer to mammograms and Pap smear screenings. A total of 6695 respondents from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 5 Cycle 1 and 2 datasets were used for data analysis. Chi-square tests were used to explore social network activities and cancer screening compliance, and multivariate logistic regressions were used to identify factors associated with cancer screening compliance. Among respondents, 68% of women and 84% of women complied with mammograms and Pap smears, respectively. Women who used the Internet during last 12 months to visit a social networking site, participate in a forum support group for medical issue, or watch a health-related video on YouTube complied with Pap smears more significantly than women who did not use the Internet (p <.05, p <.0001, and p <.001, respectively). Variables associated with mammogram and Pap smear screening compliance were age, health insurance, regular provider, marital status, and internet use. There was no significant association between social network activities and compliance with mammogram screenings. It is critical to use the same and up-to-date guidelines when reporting cancer screening rates to effectively promote adherence to cancer prevention programs and make valid and reliable comparisons across studies.
  • Keywords

  • Mammogram, Pap smear, cancer screening, social media
  • Author List

  • Park HG; Kim Y-I; Huh WK; Bae S
  • Start Page

  • e1
  • End Page

  • e14
  • Volume

  • 4