A survey of hypertension-related Facebook groups revealed that nearly 60 percent of the groups focus on promoting hypertension awareness. Researchers from the University of Calgary and the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia note that studies on the use of social media sites for hypertension-related information and communication are limited. They studied Facebook groups related to hypertension to characterize their objectives, subject matter, member sizes, geographical boundaries, level of activity, and user-generated content.
Researchers found 187 hypertension-related Facebook groups containing 8,966 members. The main objective of most (59.9 percent) Facebook groups was to create hypertension awareness, and 11.2 percent were created primarily to support patients and caregivers. Among the top-displayed, most recent posts, 21.3 percent were focused on product or service promotion, whereas one-fifth of posts were related to hypertension-awareness information. By analyzing the main objective of each Facebook group, researchers identified the following seven major categories of hypertension groups by their group descriptions: awareness-creating groups, support groups for patients and caregivers, disease experience-sharing groups, fundraising groups, product-promotion groups, research groups, and health professional groups.
Study: Social Media in Communicating Health Information: An Analysis of Facebook Groups Related to Hypertension, Mohammad Al Mamun, Preventing Chronic Disease, published 29 January 2015.