Date: Monday, October 22, 2018
Session Type: ACR Concurrent Abstract Session
Session Time: 4:30PM-6:00PM
Background/Purpose: We evaluated a social networking intervention to help patients with rheumatoid arthritis become active partners in their own care. We developed a closed independent community in Facebook® for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Three patient advocates with expertise in health communication moderated the Facebook® community.
Methods: In a randomized controlled trial we compared the use of Facebook® as an educational platform providing evidence-based health information and social networking to a static non-participatory website offering the same educational materials as Facebook but without the interactive components of social networking (intervention = Facebook® + website and control = website alone). Inclusion criteria were: (i) adults diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis by a rheumatologist, and ongoing or prior treatment with traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or biologic agents, (ii) able to communicate in English; (iii) internet access and a personal email account; (iv) current use of internet-based social media platforms (Facebook® or similar); and (v) disease duration ≤ 10 years. Our primary outcome measures were patients’ disease knowledge, self-efficacy and empowerment. Follow-up assessment were conducted at 3 and 6 months. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare the primary outcome measures between two study groups at 3-month and 6-month follow-up. All analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis.
Results: 210 patients agreed to participate and completed the baseline questionnaire. After completion of the baseline questionnaire, participants were randomly assigned at 1:1 ratio; 105 were randomized to the intervention arm and 105 were randomized to the control arm. No statistically significant differences between the two study groups were detected at baseline. At the 3-month assessment, 90 patients from the intervention arm and 93 patients from the control arm completed the survey (87% response rate). At the 6-month assessment, 89 patients from the intervention arm and 89 patients from the control arm completed the survey (85% response rate). No statistically significant differences were observed between groups for patient knowledge, self-efficacy, or empowerment at 3 or 6 months. However, the intervention group reported more satisfaction with their perceived peer support compared with the control group at 3 and 6 months. This was reflected in the various subscales including perceived availability of peer support (i.e., peer supporter being present and ready to help), perceived assistance in daily management (i.e., peer supporter assistance in the actions needed to take every day to control the disease and protect the patients’ health), social & emotional support (i.e., peer supporter addressing the emotional aspects of living with rheumatoid arthritis), and linkage to clinical care (i.e., peer supporter helping to make effective use of health services).
Conclusion: The perceived receipt of direct and nondirective support was higher in patients using Facebook®, but this was not translated into greater knowledge, self-efficacy or empowerment.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Lopez-Olivo MA, Foreman J, Lin H, Leung CH, Westrich-Robertson T, Hofstetter C, Peterson SK, Lyddiatt A, Leong AL, Willcockson IU, Suarez-Almazor M. Effects of Social Networking on Chronic Disease Management in Rheumatoid Arthritis [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018; 70 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/effects-of-social-networking-on-chronic-disease-management-in-rheumatoid-arthritis/. Accessed July 15, 2020.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/effects-of-social-networking-on-chronic-disease-management-in-rheumatoid-arthritis/