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J Med Internet Res. 2019 Mar 7;21(3):e12441. doi: 10.2196/12441.

Partnering With Mommy Bloggers to Disseminate Breast Cancer Risk Information: Social Media Intervention.

Author information

1
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, United States.
2
College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.
3
Westat, Rockville, MD, United States.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Women are concerned about reducing their breast cancer risk, particularly if they have daughters. Social media platforms, such as blogs written by mothers, are increasingly being recognized as a channel that women use to make personal and family health-related decisions. Government initiatives (eg, Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee) and researchers have called for scientists and the community to partner and disseminate scientifically and community-informed environmental risk information.

OBJECTIVE:

We developed and evaluated a blog intervention to disseminate breast cancer and environmental risk information to mothers. We teamed with mommy bloggers to disseminate a message that we developed and tailored for mothers and daughters based on scientific evidence from the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP). We posited that the intervention would influence women's exposure to, acceptance of, and beliefs about environmental risks while promoting their intention to adopt risk-reducing behaviors.

METHODS:

Using a quasi-experimental design, we recruited 75 mommy bloggers to disseminate the breast cancer risk message on their respective blogs and examined the impact of the intervention on (1) readers exposed to the intervention (n=445) and (2) readers not exposed to the intervention (comparison group; n=353).

RESULTS:

Following the intervention, blog reader scores indicating exposure to the breast cancer risk and prevention information were greater than scores of blog readers who were not exposed (or did not recall seeing the message; mean 3.92, SD 0.85 and mean 3.45, SD 0.92, respectively; P<.001). Readers who recalled the intervention messages also had higher breast cancer risk and prevention information satisfaction scores compared with readers who did not see (or recall) the messages (mean 3.97, SD 0.75 and mean 3.57, SD 0.94, respectively; P<.001). Blog readers who recalled seeing the intervention messages were significantly more likely to share the breast cancer risk and prevention information they read, with their daughters specifically, than readers who did not recall seeing them (χ21=8.1; P=.004). Those who recalled seeing the intervention messages reported significantly higher breast cancer risk and prevention information influence scores, indicative of behavioral intentions, than participants who did not recall seeing them (mean 11.22, SD 2.93 and mean 10.14, SD 3.24, respectively; P=.003). Most women ranked Facebook as their first choice for receiving breast cancer risk information.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicated that blog readers who were exposed to (and specifically recalled) the BCERP-adapted intervention messages from mommy bloggers had higher breast cancer risk and prevention information exposure scores and higher breast cancer risk and prevention information satisfaction and influence scores than those who did not see (or recall) them. Mommy bloggers may be important opinion leaders for some women and key to enhancing the messaging, delivery, and impact of environmental breast cancer risk information on mothers.

KEYWORDS:

blogging; breast cancer; environment and public health; health communication; information dissemination; risk reduction behavior; social media; social networking

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